Psychopharmacology

, Volume 228, Issue 2, pp 335–345

Family history of alcoholism interacts with alcohol to affect brain regions involved in behavioral inhibition

  • David A. Kareken
  • Mario Dzemidzic
  • Leah Wetherill
  • William EilerII
  • Brandon G. Oberlin
  • Jaroslaw Harezlak
  • Yang Wang
  • Sean J. O’Connor
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-013-3038-4

Cite this article as:
Kareken, D.A., Dzemidzic, M., Wetherill, L. et al. Psychopharmacology (2013) 228: 335. doi:10.1007/s00213-013-3038-4
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Abstract

Rationale

Impulsive behavior is associated with both alcohol use disorders and a family history of alcoholism (FHA). One operational definition of impulsive behavior is the stop-signal task (SST) which measures the time needed to stop a ballistic hand movement.

Objective

Employ functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study right frontal responses to stop signals in heavy drinking subjects with and without FHA, and as a function of alcohol exposure.

Methods

Twenty-two family history-positive (FHP; age = 22.7 years, SD = 1.9) and 18 family history-negative (FHN; age = 23.7, SD = 1.8) subjects performed the SST in fMRI in two randomized visits: once during intravenous infusion of alcohol, clamped at a steady-state breath alcohol (BrAC) concentration of 60 mg/dL, and once during infusion of placebo saline. An independent reference group (n = 13, age = 23.7, SD = 1.8) was used to identify a priori right prefrontal regions activated by successful inhibition (Inh) trials, relative to “Go” trials that carried no need for inhibition [Inh > Go].

Results

FHA interacted with alcohol exposure in right prefrontal cortex, where alcohol reduced [Inh > Go] activation in FHN subjects but not in FHP subjects. Within this right frontal cortical region, stop-signal reaction time also correlated negatively with [Inh > Go] activation, suggesting that the [Inh > Go] activity was related to inhibitory behavior.

Conclusions

The results are consistent with the low level of response theory (Schuckit, J Stud Alcohol 55:149–158, 1980; Quinn and Fromme, Alcohol Clin Exp Res 35:1759–1770, 2011), with FHP being less sensitive to alcohol’s effects.

Keywords

FMRIAlcoholismFamily historyStop signalInhibitionImpulsivityFrontal lobes

Supplementary material

213_2013_3038_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 12.8 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Kareken
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  • Mario Dzemidzic
    • 1
    • 3
  • Leah Wetherill
    • 4
    • 5
  • William EilerII
    • 1
  • Brandon G. Oberlin
    • 1
  • Jaroslaw Harezlak
    • 6
  • Yang Wang
    • 3
  • Sean J. O’Connor
    • 2
  1. 1.Neuropsychology Section (GH 4700), Department of NeurologyIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medical GeneticsIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyIndiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI)IndianapolisUSA
  6. 6.Department of BiostatisticsIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA