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Am J Psychiatry. 1998 Nov;155(11):1544-9.

Reduced central serotonin transporters in alcoholism.

Author information

1
Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, NIMH, Washington, D.C., USA. jonesjeinz@aol.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Dysfunction of monoamine uptake mechanisms has been implicated in the pathogenesis of alcohol dependence. The authors explored whether serotonergic dysfunction is associated with anxiety and depression, which increase the risk of relapse in alcoholics.

METHOD:

The availability of serotonin and dopamine transporters in 22 male alcoholics and 13 healthy male volunteers was measured with the use of [123I] beta-CIT and single photon emission computed tomography, and psychopathological correlates were assessed.

RESULTS:

A significant reduction (a mean of about 30%) in the availability of brainstem serotonin transporters was found in the alcoholics, which was significantly correlated with lifetime alcohol consumption and with ratings of depression and anxiety during withdrawal.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings support the hypothesis of serotonergic dysfunction in alcoholism and in withdrawal-emergent depressive symptoms.

PMID:
9812115
DOI:
10.1176/ajp.155.11.1544
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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