Document Detail

Effect of tryptophan depletion on alcohol cue-induced craving in abstinent alcoholic patients.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11505046     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The capacity of alcohol cues to precipitate the desire to drink may be an important determinant of relapse to alcohol use in recovering alcohol-dependent patients. This study evaluated whether attenuation of serotonin synthesis via depletion of its precursor tryptophan reduces the magnitude of cue-induced craving for alcohol in recently abstinent alcoholic individuals. METHODS: Alcohol-dependent patients (n = 16), 1 to 3 months after detoxification, who exhibited a 20% or greater increase in reported craving when presented with an alcoholic beverage, completed two additional alcohol cue-exposure test days, 1 week apart. Each cue exposure was preceded by administration of a concentrated amino acid drink that resulted in a rapid and significant decline in plasma free tryptophan (active depletion, no tryptophan supplementation) or a similar drink containing tryptophan (placebo depletion). Tests were conducted in a randomized, double-blind fashion. RESULTS: There were no significant changes in the magnitude of cue-induced craving with active tryptophan depletion compared with placebo. CONCLUSIONS: These data question the dependence of alcohol cue-induced craving in sober alcoholics on the ongoing synthesis of serotonin.
I L Petrakis; L Trevisan; N N Boutros; D Limoncelli; N L Cooney; J H Krystal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research     Volume:  25     ISSN:  0145-6008     ISO Abbreviation:  Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res.     Publication Date:  2001 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-08-15     Completed Date:  2001-09-27     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7707242     Medline TA:  Alcohol Clin Exp Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1151-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Alcoholism / physiopathology*,  therapy*
Amino Acids / administration & dosage
Double-Blind Method
Serotonin / biosynthesis
Tryptophan / administration & dosage,  blood,  deficiency*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Amino Acids; 0/Placebos; 0/Solutions; 50-67-9/Serotonin; 64-17-5/Ethanol; 73-22-3/Tryptophan

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