Healthy Subjects with a Family History of Alcoholism Show Increased Stimulative Subjective Effects of Alcohol
Article first published online: 16 MAY 2011
Copyright © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 35, Issue 8, pages 1426–1434, August 2011
How to Cite
Söderpalm Gordh, A. H. V. and Söderpalm, B. (2011), Healthy Subjects with a Family History of Alcoholism Show Increased Stimulative Subjective Effects of Alcohol. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 35: 1426–1434. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01478.x
- Issue published online: 22 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 16 MAY 2011
- Received for publication February 15, 2010; accepted December 28, 2010.
- Family History of Alcoholism;
- Subjective Effects
Background: Research has shown that subjects with a family history positive (FHP) of alcoholism are at increased risk for alcoholism and that this group reacts differently to alcohol than family history negative (FHN) subjects. These different levels of sensitivity may make FHP persons more likely to consume alcohol. Here, we tested the hypothesis that subjects FHP for type 1 alcoholism (according to Cloninger) are more sensitive than control subjects to the stimulative, properties of alcohol following a single moderate dose of alcohol.
Methods: Fifty-one healthy men and women (22 FHP and 29 FHN) participated in 2 laboratory sessions, in which they consumed a beverage containing ethanol (0.6 g/kg in juice) or placebo (juice alone) in a randomized order. Primary dependent measures were self-report questionnaires of mood states.
Results: Subjects with family history of type 1 alcoholism showed increased stimulative responses and an elevated positive mood state after ethanol compared to controls.
Conclusions: At this moderate dose, ethanol increased stimulative subjective responses in individuals who were “family history positive.” This enhanced sensitivity could motivate to exaggerated drinking and thereby increase the risk for developing alcoholism.