Dynamic and Systems-Based Models for Evaluating Hypotheses Related to Predicting Treatment Response

  • Scott F. Stoltenberg


An important goal for alcohol dependence treatment research is the identification of personal characteristics that can be used to select the treatment regimen that will have the greatest probability of success. Such personalized treatment for alcohol dependence is not yet a reality. Individual differences in the genetic architecture that underlie the etiology of alcoholism and of the pharmacogenetics of medications used in alcoholism treatment are likely to be important in the development of personalized treatment. In 2000, Johnson proposed a mechanistic model of the contribution to differential response to pharmacological alcoholism treatment of a well-studied, common genetic polymorphism in the regulatory region of the gene that codes for the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR). This Johnson Model contained many parameters and proposed multiple interactions, which made predictions difficult to make, but also made it a good candidate for modeling with a dynamic systems-based model. This chapter describes personalized alcoholism treatment and pharmacogenetics, and discusses the Johnson Model and a dynamic systems model as well as the potential for using such models for investigating personalized alcoholism treatment.


Alcoholism Pharmacogenetics Computer simulation Serotonin Dopamine Serotonin reuptake inhibitor Ondansetron 5-HTTLPR 



This work was made possible by grants from the National Center for Research Resources (P20 RR016479) and the National Institute of Mental Health (R15 MH077654). The author thanks Dr. Parthasarathi Nag for helpful comments on an earlier version of this chapter.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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