Recovery Function and Clinical Symptomatology in Acute Alcoholization and Withdrawal
Withdrawal has often been considered a phenomenon which occurs only after the cessation of long-term alcohol intake. The occurrence of withdrawal signs and symptoms upon cessation of alcohol ingestion is evidence of physiological dependence. It has also been postulated by Seevers and Deneau (1964) that physical dependence is characterized by hyperexcitability of the central nervous system. Consequently, we recently undertook to study changes in brain excitability of alcoholics, during alcoholization and withdrawal. We used the recovery function of somatosensory evoked potentials to assess changes in CNS excitability. Our findings (Begleiter, Porjesz and Yerre, in press) demonstrated that an increase of central nervous system excitability results from the cessation of alcohol intake, even after short periods of drinking. The state of hyperexcitability increases as drinking progresses and appears to reach a peak approximately 34 hours subsequent to withdrawal from prolonged alcohol ingestion. Three days after cessation of alcohol intake, our recovery function values return to normal. Our data support the hypothesis that partial withdrawal is manifested by a latent rebound hyperexcitability which occurs subsequent to depression of the central nervous system by alcohol.
KeywordsAlcohol Withdrawal Recovery Function Acute Alcoholization Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Withdrawal Sign
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Seevers, M. H, and Deneau, G. A. “Animals in Toxic Evironments.” Handbook of Physiology, Section 4: Adaptation to the Environment. American Physiological Society, Washington, D.C., pp. 809–828, 1964.Google Scholar
- Begleiter, H., Porjesz, Bernice and Yerrie, Consolacion. Changes in brain excitability during experimental alcoholization and withdrawal. (in press).Google Scholar
- Gross, M. M., Rosenblatt, S., Chartoff, S., Herman, A., Schacter, M., Sheinkin, D., and Broman, M. Evaluation of acute alcoholic psychoses and related states. The daily clinical course rating scale. Quart. J. Stud. on Alcohol, Vol. 32, No. 3, 611–619, 1971.Google Scholar
- Gross, M. M., Lewis, E., and Nagarajan, M. An improved quantitative evaluation of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. (This volume).Google Scholar
- Gross, M. M. and Lewis, E. Prevalence of withdrawal manifestations during experimental alcoholization and withdrawal. (This volume).Google Scholar
- Gross, M. M., Goodenough, D. R., Hastey, J., Rosenblatt, S., and Lewis, E. Sleep disturbances in alcoholic intoxication and withdrawal. In (Eds.) N. Mello and J. Mendelson, Recent Advances in Studies of Alcoholism, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972.Google Scholar
- Gross, M. M., Hastey, J., and Nagarajan, M. Sleep changes in intoxication and withdrawal (4 and 6 days of heavy alcohol intake). (This volume).Google Scholar
- Korol, B., Magrinat, G., Dolan, J. P., Biddy, R. L., and Miller, L. D. Ethanol and methanol metabolites in alcohol withdrawal, (in press).Google Scholar
- Goldstein, Dora. Relationship of alcohol dose to intensity of withdrawal signs in mice. Journal of Pharm. and Experiment. Therap. Vol. 180, No. 2, 203–215, 1972.Google Scholar
- Begleiter, H. and Standish, L. Unpublished observations.Google Scholar