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Alcohol Alcohol. 1999 Sep-Oct;34(5):750-9.

Psychopathology in alcohol withdrawal: relationship to alpha2-adrenoceptor function.

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Department of Psychology, Göteborg, Sweden.


The possible relationship between postsynaptic alpha2-adrenoceptor function, as assessed by growth hormone (GH) response to clonidine (CLON; 1.5 or 2.0 microg/kg i.v.), and psychopathology was investigated in 30 patients with alcohol-dependence in the early withdrawal period. Excluding patients with high baseline GH, 23 of the 26 patients had blunted GH responses to CLON and 57% moderate or severe depression at day 1 after the end of alcohol intake. After 1 week, the GH responses to CLON remained blunted in 20 of 21 retested patients, whereas the depression and anxiety remitted in all but two patients. The results do not support any relationship between postsynaptic alpha2-adrenoceptor function and symptoms of psychopathology in alcohol withdrawal.

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