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Grapevine : March 2011
Family alcoholism leads to greater adolescent risk New research exploring the neural processes of adolescents with alcohol abuse in their families has indicated that a posi- tive family history may confer a significant risk for future alcoholism. Marisa Silveri, one of the authors of the 2010 study and assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and neuroscientist at the Brain Imaging Center within McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachu- setts, said "Altered brain function in teens who are already drinking or abus- ing alcohol could either be a direct result of alco- hol use or could be due to a pre-existing brain di erence that leads to drinking. erefore, this study sought to examine whether functional brain di erences could be observed before alcohol use begins in a group of adolescents at greater risk for using alcohol, by having alcoholic parents or grandparents, compared to adolescents without alcoholism in their family." Silveri believes that, in addition to more research on identifying those who will be at risk of alcoholism later in life, a much more important focus is the develop- ment and maintenance of school programs and curricula based on neuro- scientific findings, which could help adolescents understand why a fam- ily history of alcoholism could put them at signifi- cantly greater risk. Source: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, February 2011 Based on a survey of 34,653 individ- uals, researchers found that individu- als with an alcohol use disorder who perceived negative stigma were 0.37 times less likely to seek treatment for their disorder compared to individuals with similarly serious alcohol disorders who did not perceive stigma. Katherine Keyes, Ph.D., in the Mail- man School of Public Health Depart- ment of Epidemiology said, "Greater attention to reducing the stigma of having an alcohol disorder is urgently needed so that more individuals access the e ective systems of care available to treat these disabling conditions." Source: Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, December 2010 e purpose of these pages is to o er information that may further readers' understand- ing of the medical, legal and social aspects of alcoholism; the severity and international scope of the illness; and the worldwide e orts being made to combat it. Publication here does not imply endorsement or a liation. AA does not conduct or participate in research, nor does it hold any opinion on research conducted by others. Grapevine 61