Hypothalamic-Pituitary Function during Alcohol Exposure and Withdrawal and Cocaine Exposure
This chapter examines the neuroendocrine effects of acute exposure to and withdrawal from alcohol and cocaine, with special emphasis on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We present the results from two preliminary controlled inpatient studies that document HPA dysfunction during acute exposure to alcohol and cocaine and during withdrawal from alcohol. We discuss the methodological approach of these studies in comparison to related attempts in the literature to use measures of thyroid and prolactin regulation to predict risk of relapse to alcohol and cocaine use, respectively. Our data and the results of related studies are presented in the context of a proposed index of HPA axis dysfunction that may provide a useful clinical measure of susceptibility to relapse during protracted abstinence from alcohol or cocaine.
KeywordsCortisol Level Cortisol Response Alcohol Exposure Alcohol Withdrawal Cocaine Dependence
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