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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2003 May;27(3):189-97.

Alcohol and withdrawal: from animal research to clinical issues.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Biologie du Comportement, Université catholique de Louvain, Place Croix du Sud, 1-Bte 10, B-1348, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. dewitte@bani.ucl.ac.be

Abstract

The withdrawal syndrome in alcohol-dependent patients appears to be a major stressful event whose intensity increases with repetition of detoxifications according to a kindling process. Disturbances in the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neural processes are reflected in a perturbed physical state while disturbances in the balance between positive and negative reinforcements are reflected in a perturbed mood state. Our purpose is to link the different behavioral outcomes occurring during withdrawal with specific biological brain mechanisms from the animal to the human being. Better understanding of the various biological mechanisms underlying withdrawal from alcohol will be the key to design and to apply appropriate pharmaceutical management, together with appropriate therapy aimed at inducing protracted abstinence.

PMID:
12788332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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