This P60 application from the University of Connecticut Alcohol Research Center (UCONN ARC) requests five years of continued funding for the Center's research programs on vulnerability to alcohol dependence and promising biological and psychosocial treatment interventions. Component I describes the UConn ARC's organizational framework, quality control mechanisms related to research and publications, and supporting research facilities. The visiting scholars program, consulting and mentoring activities and journal editorship activities strengthen the UConn ARC'S role as a regional and national resource. Component II focuses on neurophysiologic, psychological, and genetic factors to predict risky drinking behavior / binge drinking and obesity risk among college age females. Component III, a second study of vulnerability, will focus on several stress-related pathways (including genetic) that may increase the susceptibility for developing heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems among college students after graduation. Continuing our Center's emphasis on novel treatments, we propose two new studies. Component IV builds upon current work and will evaluate the efficacy of Contingency Management as alcohol use is continuously monitored electronically vs. standard treatment. Eighteen month follow-up evaluations will examine drinking outcomes and the effects of CM on reducing other drug use, psychosocial problems, predictors of relapse, and the interaction of GABRA2 genotype with treatment conditions. Component V is a placebo controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of dutasteride. Reductions in drinking, the persistence of treatment effects, and the role of GABA alleles and AKR1C3 genotype in moderating the treatment response will also be examined. Component VI describes a program of translational, dissemination and educational activities that are integrated with the Center's theme, investigators, and research programs. Finally, the proposed pilot studies component (VII) will support six studies that relate directly to the Center' themes of vulnerability and novel treatments for alcohol dependence and help better position the Center with respect to the new UCONN capital improvement (Bioscience CT) and science (Jackson Laboratories) initiatives.

Public Health Relevance

The UCONN ARC has two primary aims: 1) the identification of social, psychological and biological factors that contribute to an adolescent's vulnerability fo developing alcohol problems, including alcohol dependence, and 2) developing more effective behavioral and pharmacological treatments for problem drinkers and persons with alcohol dependence. Our research findings have been used to improve both prevention programs and to improve treatment approaches.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
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Bechtholt, Anita
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University of Connecticut
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United States
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Weiss, Nicole H; Bold, Krysten W; Sullivan, Tami P et al. (2017) Testing bidirectional associations among emotion regulation strategies and substance use: a daily diary study. Addiction 112:695-704
Petry, Nancy M; Ginley, Meredith K; Rash, Carla J (2017) A systematic review of treatments for problem gambling. Psychol Addict Behav 31:951-961
Bauer, L O; Houston, R J (2017) The value of instability: an investigation of intrasubject variability in brain activity among obese adolescent girls. Int J Obes (Lond) 41:1489-1495
Meredith, Steven E; Rash, Carla J; Petry, Nancy M (2017) Alcohol use disorders are associated with increased HIV risk behaviors in cocaine-dependent methadone patients. J Subst Abuse Treat 83:10-14
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Rash, Carla J; Alessi, Sheila M; Petry, Nancy M (2017) Substance Abuse Treatment Patients in Housing Programs Respond to Contingency Management Interventions. J Subst Abuse Treat 72:97-102
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Lieberman, Richard; Kranzler, Henry R; Levine, Eric S et al. (2017) Examining FKBP5 mRNA expression in human iPSC-derived neural cells. Psychiatry Res 247:172-181

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