Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) from normal drinkers with and without a family history of alcoholism were compared. Three separate groups of 10 subjects each (5 with and 5 without a family history of alcoholism) ingested either a placebo or ethanol at 0.56 or 0.94 g/kg. In each comparison, ERP components elicited in conjunction with subjects' decisions about task-relevant stimuli were of significantly reduced amplitude in individuals with a family history of alcoholism. Additionally, both the latency of the positive component and reaction times to correctly detected targets were significantly later in individuals with a positive history of alcoholism than in those without a history. These group differences were apparent both with and without challenge of alcohol. The data suggest that brain functions are different in individuals at high and low risk for the development of alcoholism (i.e., those with and without a family history of alcoholism, respectively.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Issue number||24 I|
|State||Published - 1982|
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