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Preference for alcohol in adolescence may lead to heavy drinking
Date:5/5/2008

Sapyta.

Based on the fact that rats are mammals with a genome similar to that of humans, Schramm-Sapyta said, We can cautiously extrapolate from rodents to humans. The findings suggest that early big drinkers are the people who should be targeted for alcoholism-prevention efforts.

The studies that we have done in rats have not yet been done in humans to our knowledge, she added. One reason that rats are particularly useful in studies like these is that we can control the opportunity for exposure to alcohol, which we cant do with human adolescents.

Controlling for environment and opportunities to drink is impossible and unethical to do in studies with teenagers, she explained. "We can't take a group of teenagers and experimentally dictate who drinks and who doesn't, because of the risk of long-term health consequences."

Future studies for this research team will focus on causes for those early drinking behaviors be it the sedative effect of alcohol, avoidance of after-effects or different types of metabolism.


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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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