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The Endocrine System and Alcohol Drinking in Females

Sexually dimorphic effects of alcohol exposure throughout life have been documented in clinical and preclinical studies. In the past, rates of alcohol use disorder (AUD) were higher in men than in women, but over the past 10 years, the difference between sexes in prevalence of AUD and binge drinking has narrowed. Recent evidence adds to historical data regarding the influence of sex steroids on...

Pathophysiology of the Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Endocrine System

Alcohol can permeate virtually every organ and tissue in the body, resulting in tissue injury and organ dysfunction. Considerable evidence indicates that alcohol abuse results in clinical abnormalities of one of the body’s most important systems, the endocrine system. This system ensures proper communication between various organs, also interfacing with the immune and nervous systems, and is...

Primer on the Immune System

Stress Glossary

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): Also known as corticotropin, is a hormone produced and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It is an important component of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and often is produced in response to biological stress (along with corticotropin-releasing factor from the hypothalamus). Its principal effects are increased production and release of...

Overview: Stress and Alcohol Use Disorders Revisited

In the 13 years since Alcohol Research & Health (now titled Alcohol Research: Current Reviews) first visited the topic of “Alcohol and Stress” (see Vol. 23, No. 4, 1999), there has been a sustained flow of new information in the field prompting us to publish this updated edition. Indeed, one could argue that this second look at the topic is long overdue. An entirely new lexicon of terms1 has been...

Alcohol–Organ Interactions: Injury and Repair - Editor's Note

The association between alcohol misuse and organ damage, specifically liver disease, has been recognized for more than 200 years (Maher 1997). Yet it was not until the early 1970s that researchers demonstrated a direct causal relationship between drinking and this serious—and sometimes fatal—condition.

Common Biological Mechanisms of Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are highly comorbid. Although recent clinical studies provide some understanding of biological and subsequent behavioral changes that define each of these disorders, the neurobiological basis of interactions between PTSD and AUD has not been well-understood. In this review, we summarize the relevant animal models that parallel...

Alcohol’s Burden on Immunity Following Burn, Hemorrhagic Shock, or Traumatic Brain Injury

The incidence of traumatic injury in alcohol-intoxicated individuals continues to escalate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012a), more than 38 million American alcohol users consume 5 or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., binge drink) and do so about 4 times per month. This behavior is highly conducive to unintentional or accidental traumatic injury, which...

Women and Alcohol - From the Editors

Recent epidemiological research has identified alarming trends in drinking patterns of girls and women in the United States. In recent years, the amount and frequency of alcohol use are increasing in White and Hispanic girls and young women in contrast to decreasing patterns of heavy alcohol use in boys and young men.1,2 Similarly, current and binge alcohol use is rising among older women,3,4 resu...

Treatment of Alcohol Dependence With Drug Antagonists of the Stress Response

Although alcohol dependence affects 4 percent of the adult population and is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2009), fewer than 15 percent of people with alcoholism receive treatment (Hasin et al. 2007). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–Fourth Edition Text Revision (DSM–IV–TR) ...