Autonomic reactivity to mental stressors after single administration of lorazepam in male alcoholics and healthy controls

Citation
R. Demmel et al., Autonomic reactivity to mental stressors after single administration of lorazepam in male alcoholics and healthy controls, ALC ALCOHOL, 35(6), 2000, pp. 617-624
Citations number
56
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Clinical Psycology & Psychiatry","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ALCOHOL AND ALCOHOLISM
ISSN journal
0735-0414 → ACNP
Volume
35
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
617 - 624
Database
ISI
SICI code
0735-0414(200011/12)35:6<617:ARTMSA>2.0.ZU;2-L
Abstract
Clinically unaffected sons of male alcoholics differ from controls without a family history of alcoholism in two respects: increased autonomic reactiv ity to aversive as well as non-aversive stimuli and increased attenuation o f these responses by alcohol. This pattern of autonomic hyper-reactivity an d alcohol-induced stress response dampening (SRD) might be a trait marker o f genetic vulnerability and is often interpreted in terms of a diathesis st ress model of alcohol dependence. Forty-five alcohol-dependent men (mean ag e: 39.20 years) and 37 healthy controls (mean age: 35.03 years) participate d in a double-blind cross-over study in two experimental sessions each. The benzodiazepine lorazepam was selected as an alcohol substitute. Autonomic reactivity and lorazepam-induced SRD were assessed during incentive and non -incentive reaction time tasks as well as mental arithmetics. Alcohol-depen dent men showed elevated resting heart rate levels and increased number of non-specific electrodermal responses. Evidence for autonomic hyper-reactivi ty was found for a subgroup of alcoholics with a family history of alcoholi sm.