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January 29th, 2013.docx

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NESC 3237
Sean Barrett

January 29th, 2013 January-29-13 2:31 PM Alcohol  Top 10 alcohol consuming countries in world are in Eastern Europe  Lowest in Muslim nations Fermentation  Happens in nature with anything that contains sugar o Yeast interact with these sugars and convert them into ethanol o Most alcohol content you can get by this is 15%, because yeast will die at concentrations higher than this Distillation  Boiling point of alcohol lower, so you boil fermented alcohol, collect vapors and then continue distilling until you reach concentration you desire  Specific gravity of alcohol is 0.79. 1L of alcohol weighs 790g 40% by weight = 50% by volume Humans have been brewing alcohol since humans took up agriculture about 10,000 years ago  Been distilling for 1,000 years Alcohol levels in the body  Usually ingested orally, IV can be done, but the volume needed too large to really work  Can be measured in a few ways o Percent o Metric  80mg alcohol/100mL whole blood o SI units  Millimoles alcohol/L whole blood Pharmacokinetics  3 distinct phases for the blood alcohol concentration curve o Ascending limb (absorption phase) o Plateau phase o Elimination stage (descending limb) Absorption  Absorbed through small intestine  Food slows absorption  First pass metabolism by alcohol dehydrogenase  Rate of absorption of alcohol increases as concentration increases, to a point, then it decreases  Previous drinking history can increase absorption rate  Plateau after 60min, peak at 75min Excretion  Alcohol converted to acetaldehyde by alcohol dehydrogenase o This is the rate limiting factor Neurotransmitters involved  Alcohol doesn't target a specific receptor  But it has an effect on pretty well every type of receptor  Dopamine and GABA seem to be most important in alcohol's addictive properties Blood alcohol concentration curve  Dopaminergic effects occur on the ascending end of the curve o Increased DA cell firing in ventral tegmental and nucleus accumbens  GABA effects after time will begin to inhibit DA effects, and that's when you start feeling sluggish and tired Is heart-rate a marker for sensitivity to alcohol's dopamine-related effects  Individuals who have heightened reactivity to alcohol's heart-rate increasing properties are at more risk for developing alcohol related problems  After study o High heart rate response individuals experienced much more stimulation  Peaks at 40 minutes, but continues till 150min o Low response people start showing less and less stimulation compared to their baseline, peaking at 150min Personality and effect  Sensation seeking personalities seem to have greater cardiac response to alcohol and feel more stimulant properties to alcohol  Hopelessness introversion
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