Response to alcohol in females with a paternal history of alcoholism.Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2003; 169(1):10-20P
Several studies have demonstrated that males with a family history of alcoholism (FHP) show less of a response to alcohol (e.g. lower ratings of intoxication) than males without a family history of alcoholism (FHN). The purpose of this pilot study was to determine if FHP females also showed a reduced sensitivity to alcohol compared to FHN females.
To determine if FHP females (n=16) were less sensitive to the subjective effects and performance-impairing effects of alcohol compared to FHN females (n=16).
The effects of placebo and alcohol (0.25, 0.50, 0.75 g/kg, based on total body water) were evaluated using a double-blind, placebo-controlled outpatient design. Drug effects were assessed using performance tasks, observer ratings of drug effect and subjective ratings of drug effect.
There were no differences in breath alcohol levels between FHN and FHP women. FHP women were less impaired by alcohol than FHN women, as shown by DSST scores and observer-ratings. However, FHP women were more impaired on the Digit Recall task after alcohol than FHN women and they tended to have higher ratings of "Good Drug Effect," "Drug Liking" and "Willingness to Take Again." Of note, FHP women reported more dysphoric mood than FHN women in the absence of alcohol administration.
The results of the present study suggest that FHP women may have a reduced response to alcohol on some measures, but FHP women report greater positive effects on other measures. Overall, the differences between FHP and FHN women are subtle compared to the previous studies demonstrating a reduced response to alcohol in FHP men.