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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 1999 Aug;7(3):234-43.

Chronic tolerance and sensitization to alcohol in sons of alcoholics: II. Replication and reanalysis.

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  • 1Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


Data from D. B. Newlin and J. B. Thomson (1991) were reanalyzed, and data from an independent replication study were analyzed, relative to tonic (baseline) and phasic (response to alcohol challenge) aspects of drinking alcohol administered at the same dose on several occasions. Among the high-risk men (sons of alcoholic fathers), linear trends across days for resting (predrinking) baselines were opposite to alcohol-evoked changes for finger pulse amplitude, finger temperature, and skin conductance in Study 1 and for pulse transit time and body sway (static ataxia) in Study 2. In contrast, the structure of the low-risk men's (sons of nonalcoholic parents) data was precisely the opposite. Results are discussed in terms of sensitization as a potential mechanism that relates vulnerability to final manifestation of addictive behavior.

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