Human alcohol research and clinical practice demonstrate without question that individual variation in risk for excessive drinking, in sensitivity to alcohol effects, and in response to treatment strategies are critical to understanding the disorder. Effective prevention strategies for alcoholism rest on successful identification of factors that increase the likelihood for developing heavy patterns of alcohol consumption, while effective treatment strategies rest on elucidating factors that increase vulnerability to deleterious consequences of alcohol exposure and increased danger of relapse. Risk factors for excessive drinking, as well as individualvariation in the consequences of alcohol exposure, are key research targets. Nonhuman primates provide an optimal model for this type of translational research. Nonhuman primates exhibit the entrenched, abusive patterns of alcohol drinking that characterize human alcoholism, but they also show variation in drinking patterns. We propose to use this model, along with affective and behavioral profiles drawn from multiple experimental tests, in order to identify candidate predictive factors for excessive alcohol consumption. Using a longitudinal design, as well as between-groups analysis we broadly aim to examine the behavioral and physiological correlates of vulnerability (or resilience) to abusive patterns of ethanol consumption and todetermine the effects of alcohol consumption on four crucial targets impulsivity/novelty-seeking/inhibitory control; memory and cognition; cardiac signal dynamics; and menstrual cycle). Finally, we will characterize an acute phase of withdrawal for behavioral signs of withdrawal and cardiac arrhythmias, and associate these changes with individual alcohol intake patterns. Specific Airms are 1) To examine the relationship between central aspects of temperament (impulsivity, novelty-seeking, inhibitory control), memory, cognition and individual risk for excessive alcohol self-administration.2) To determine the effect of alcohol--both in fixed dose (induction) and ad libitum self-administration (1-year)--on temperament, memory, and cognition.3) To determine the effect of both fixed-dose and long-term alcohol self-administration on cardiac and neuroendocrine function.4) To describe the behavioral and physiological sequelae of withdrawal (24-hr) after long-term (12-mo) alcohol self-administration

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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