Translational Studies of Alcoholism: Bridging the Gap


Zahr, N. M., & Sullivan, E. V. (2008). Translational studies of alcoholism: Bridging the gap. Alcohol Research & Health, 31(3), 215–230.


Human studies are necessary to identify and classify the brain systems predisposing individuals to develop alcohol use disorders and those modified by alcohol, while animal models of alcoholism are essential for a mechanistic understanding of how chronic voluntary alcohol consumption becomes compulsive, how brain systems become damaged, and how damage resolves. Our current knowledge of the neuroscience of alcohol dependence has evolved from the interchange of information gathered from both human alcoholics and animal models of alcoholism. Together, studies in humans and animal models have provided support for the involvement of specific brain structures over the course of alcohol addiction, including the prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, cerebellum, amygdala, hippocampus, and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. 

Keywords: Alcohol dependence; alcoholism; chronic alcohol exposure; alcohol and other drug effects and consequences; genetic factors; environmental factors; brain; neurobiology; translational studies; human studies; animal studies; animal models 

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