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Psychology 2660A/B
Riley Hinson

ALCOHOL Alcohol= etanol or ethyl alcohol; It’s a conversion of sugars into cellular energy (glucose+heat and without oxygen = 2 ethanol and 2 CO2), also called fermentation. For alcohol it’s controlled by using special yeasts and controlled temperatures. History of alcohol Use - First alcohol product: mead = fermented honey - Early laws concerning alcohol: o Code of Hammurabi –sixth Babylon king- regulated everything except consumption - Cult of Dionysus in Greek society: heavy drinking, intoxication brought them close to the gods o Plato and Aristotle commented the dangerous side of alcohol - Ancient Romans: excessive consumption, imported wines, discussion about the merits of vintage. o Seneca: chronic heavy consumption (beginning of alcoholism): loss of control - 14% of alcohol by volume: kills the yeast and stops to develop any more alcohol. - Distillation: increase the concentration of alcohol (China). Alcohol is boiled, the steam produces in the boiling process has a higher alcohol, the steam is condensed and the resulting liuuid is the new strong alcohol. - Europe: alcohol consumption increases in 1500 in improving transportation and distillation - This increase leads to laws against drunkenness but also additionally taxation!! - Gin epidemic in London ended up in gin riots. - North America: opponent: Benjamin Rush (declaration of Independence) => inebriometer In USA: Temperance movement (with Carrie Nation) => lead to the enactment of alcohol prohibition legislation (18-33). During this period: “speakeasies” = illegal alcohol places. Consumption in Modern times - 90% of the population in western societies has already consumed alcohol - Canada 45 in consumption (80% of Canadians are current drinkers) - Canada and US: first average drink: 12/ start of regular alcohol: 16 - Undergraduates student: 86% past year and 77% past week and binge drinking: 5+ drinks on one occasion: 22% - The risk of suicide is 30% greater in alcoholics than general public - 40% of men=> alcohol=> arrested… idiots! - 88% of alcohol consumed is consumed by only 30% of people who drink - 55% of alcohol consumed is consumed by only 10% of people who drink Characteristics of alcoholic beverages and the absorption of Alcohol - Main types: beer (5-7%), wine (9-14%) and distilled spirits (40% and more) - Alcohol: by drinking or inhalation (AWOL= alcohol without liuuid => faster) - 20% of alcohol is absorbed by the stomach (alcohol dehydrogenase) and 80% by the small intestine o The greater the concentration of alcohol is and the more rapid is absorption (more rapidly moved from the stomach to the intestine where the absorption is better)  Vodka and gin are faster than colored alcohol o Food slows down the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), stays longer in stomach, less alcohol in blood stream o The more rapid the beverage is absorbed and the faster the BAC should be o Woman higher BAC because more body fat o 15% of alcohol is metabolized in the stomach but women have less dehydrogenase - In the liver: alcohol (alcohol dehydrogenase) => acetyldehyde (acetaldehyde dehydrogenase)=> acetic acid (oxygen) => carbon dioxide, water and energy - BAC: amount of alcohol in blood as a function of time since ingestion (bell shaped curve) - In Ontario: 0.05 Alcohol effects - 90% of alcohol crosses the BBB - 0.03: little effect, 0.06-0.09: noticeable impairment, 0.25: blackout, 0.30: coma, 0.45: death Behavioral ataxia and loss of motor coordination - Affect balance control in the inner area - Test: finger-finger test (bring the 2 fingers together) - Stabiliometer: uuantifies body sway (balancement) - The tilting plane: degree which the animal slide off - The rotarod task: how many time the animal stays - Walk the straight line: on the belt, electric grid if the animal falls Effect on body temperature and vasodilation: - Alcohol lowers temperature bc increases peripheral vasodilation (heat loss, red cheeks) Impaired judgment, specifically related to driving: - Probability of accident is 4 times greater when BAC btn 0.04-0.08 and 7 times greater when BAC 0.10-0.14 and 25 times greater is BAC is 0.15 or higher. - Due to reduced attention in the peripheral visual field and slowed reaction - Impaired the judgment of the driver Alcohol impairments on cognitive tasks: - More complex the task is and lower the dose of alcohol is necessary to produce impairment Alcohol and cardioprotective effects - French paradox: alcohol increases the HDL (eliminate cholesterol) and decreases LDL. Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease Alcohol and sexual behavior: - 0.025: sexual responsiveness may be increased - 0.05: sexual responsiveness may be decreased - 0.10: temporary impotency - Woman: physiological sexual responsiveness decrease but subjective arousal and pleasure increase - But men believes alcohol increases sexual responsiveness - Sugar pills: placebo but people can endure more pain=>role of expectancies in a drug - Men who thought they were drinking alcohol => greater penile response - Less consistently in woman Alcohol and violence - Relationship btn alcohol & many forms of violence (80% of homicides, 60% of sexual assaults, 60% male domestic assaults & 30% female domestic assaults, 15% sexual abuse case) - Study with animal: alcohol increases aggressiveness - Disinbition theory: alcohol lowers inhibition that normally keeps aggressive behavior - But: violence is an evidence of disinbition => circular argument - Serotonin: lower with alcohol, less control more violence - Study with placebo: expectancies = people thinking they have consumed alcohol act more aggressively (regardless of the actual alcohol in the beverage)! Participant who believed they have consumed alcohol= longer and more intense shocks Blackouts: - Period of amnesia without loss of consciousness,2 categories: - En bloc: inability to later recall any memories - Fragmentary: may recall certain events and other just if cues are presented Hangovers: - 4 to 12 hours after the cessation (acute withdrawal) - More hangover with colored beverage than clear beverage - Might occur due to acetaldehyde and low blood sugar levels - Better remedies: more alcohol Acute and chronic effects on liver, brain and others organs: - Any amount of alcohol produces: fatty liver syndrome (steatosis) 90% => accumulation of triglycerides in the liver during the metabolism of alcohol - Heavy drinkers: hepatitis 90% (with jaundice) then cirrhosis 10% (degeneration of liver cell so decrease in hepatic blood flow so liver unable to metabolize toxins). Top cause of death in USA, 75% of death due to alcoholism is attributed to cirrhosis. - Women develops more rapidly cirrhosis than men (woman more anaemic => alcohol increases the liver demand of oxygen) - Alcoholic dementia: loss in cognitive function => Wernicke’s encephalopathy (Vitamin B1 deficiency… may lead to Korsakoff’s syndrome: amnesia anterograde et retrograde) - Alcohol reduces the gastrointestinal absorption of thiamine - Brain atrophy in human alcoholics Feminization in chronic alcoholics: - Alcohol reduces testosterone and increase in estrogen (breast, testicular atrophy, loss facial hair, reduces sperm production in six hours following ingestion) Lethal effect - Death via respiratory depression, there is no alcohol antidote Self-administration and conditioned place preference - Lever presses or nose pokes => delivery of alcohol into a drinking cup, or oral catheter Neurochemical actions of alcohol - Affects NMDA glutamate receptor and GABA (Rc + benzodiazepine Rc + chloride ion channel) - GABA occupies Rc => open ion channel => chloride ion enters => difficult to propagate an AP - Alcohol dampens t
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