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NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study)

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Adolescence is the stage of life during which most people begin using alcohol, and it is also a time of considerable social, psychological, and physiological change. The brain, particularly the frontal cortex, continues to develop throughout adolescence and does not fully mature until early adulthood. Adolescent alcohol exposure can impair brain development, compromise short- and long-term...

Cognitive Neuroscience Approaches to Understanding Behavior Change in Alcohol Use Disorder Treatments

Understanding the mechanisms that underlie recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD) is critical to advancing AUD treatment science (Huebner and Tonigan 2007; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA] 2009). Scientific progress over the last three decades has led to the development of a number of effective behavioral and pharmacological AUD interventions (Dutra et al. 2008)...

Alcohol's Unique Effects on Cognition in Women: A 2020 (Re)view to Envision Future Research and Treatment

Alcohol use and misuse is increasing among women. Although the prevalence of drinking remains higher in men than women, the gender gap is narrowing. This narrative review focuses on the cognitive sequelae of alcohol consumption in women. Studies of acute alcohol effects on cognition indicate that women typically perform worse than men on tasks requiring divided attention, memory, and decision...

Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly prevalent and debilitating psychiatric conditions that commonly co-occur. Individuals with comorbid AUD and PTSD incur heightened risk for other psychiatric problems (e.g., depression and anxiety), impaired vocational and social functioning, and poor treatment outcomes. This review describes evidence-supported...

Brain Structure and Function in Recovery

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) commonly is associated with compromise in neurobiological and/or neurobehavioral processes. The severity of this compromise varies across individuals and outcomes, as does the degree to which recovery of function is achieved. This narrative review first summarizes neurobehavioral, neurophysiological, structural, and neurochemical aberrations/deficits that are frequently...

Advances in Electrophysiological Research

The discovery and recording of electrical activity (electroencephalography [EEG]) in the human brain in 1924 by the German physician Hans Berger (Collura 1993; Haas 2003) has led to numerous scientific breakthroughs and clinical applications (Borck 2005; Gloor 1994). Recording brain activity in humans using scalp electrodes provides a noninvasive, sensitive measure of ongoing brain function...

Alcohol Use Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury

Alcohol use and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are inextricably and bidirectionally linked. Alcohol intoxication is one of the strongest predictors of TBI, and a substantial proportion of TBIs occur in intoxicated individuals. An inverse relationship is also emerging, such that TBI can serve as a risk factor for, or modulate the course of, alcohol use disorder (AUD). Critically, alcohol use after...

Alcohol and Cannabis Use and the Developing Brain

Introduction

Adolescence is marked by significant social, emotional, cognitive, and physical changes, as individuals transition from childhood to adulthood. Although the exact definition of adolescence tends to vary, recent findings regarding adolescent development and growth include individuals between the ages of 10 and 24.1 Consistent with this defined age range, the human brain continues to...

Binge Drinking’s Effects on the Developing Brain—Animal Models

Adolescence typically is a time of experimentation and emulation of adult behaviors, and many adolescents initiate alcohol and other drug (AOD) use during this developmental period. Brain development continues during adolescence, which could render the adolescent brain particularly vulnerable to alcohol’s effects. Consequently, adolescent alcohol exposure could result in long-lasting changes in...

Co-Occurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder in U.S. Military and Veteran Populations

Co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are costly and consequential public health problems that negatively affect the health and well-being of U.S. military service members and veterans. The disproportionate burden of comorbid PTSD and AUD among U.S. military service members and veterans may be due to unique factors associated with military service, such...