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The EEG After Alcohol Administration in Men at Risk for Alcoholism

Vicki E. Pollock, MA; Jan Volavka, MD, PhD; Donald W. Goodwin, MD; Sarnoff A. Mednick, PhD, DrMed; William F. Gabrielli, PhD; Joachim Knop, MD; Fini Schulsinger, MD, DrMed
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(8):857-861. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790070047006.
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• The biologic sons of alcoholics constitute a group at high risk (HR) for alcoholism. A 0.5-g/kg dose of alcohol was administered to HR and control subjects aged 19 to 21 years. Blood alcohol concentration measurements failed to distinguish HR from control subjects, but quantitative measures of EEG alpha activity differentiated them. The HR subjects exhibited greater increases of slow alpha energy and greater decreases of fast alpha energy after alcohol administration than controls; the HR subjects also showed greater decreases in mean alpha frequency after alcohol administration. These EEG findings suggest that subjects at high risk for alcoholism are physiologically more sensitive to alcohol than control subjects.

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