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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Brain Patterns Predictor For Alcoholism Relapse

Relapse prevention key factor in treatment for alcoholism

If you or someone close to you suffer from the disease of alcoholism, then there is a good possibility that while working a program of recovery you have discussed and been counseled about relapse prevention.  Relapse prevention is an important element to maintaining sobriety. Whiteside Manor's Aftercare Program includes relapse prevention counseling:

In order to provide a complete, supportive continuum of care, Whiteside Manor provides a weekly Aftercare program for graduates at no cost. The aftercare program consists of a weekly group facilitated by an experienced counselor who helps guide clients in their recovery efforts, assisting them in meeting the goals contained in their continuing care plans. Aftercare is a forum in which clients may explore success, obstacles and day to day issues that confront them, receiving feedback and support from the group facilitator and other participants. In addition, graduates are encouraged to participate in relapse prevention groups, 12-Step meetings in the community and reside in Sober-Living Homes when appropriate.
Recovery is possible, but relapse can and does happen. We don't always know why; however, more than one person may have wished for a crystal ball to predict the possibility of relapse.  

New study examines brain patterns to predict relapse risk for alcoholism

This week the results of a new study funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), were published online in JAMA Psychiatry.  The article abstract Disrupted Ventromedial Prefrontal Function, Alcohol Craving, and Subsequent Relapse Risk  was authored by Dongju Seo, PhD; Cheryl M. Lacadie, BA; Keri Tuit, PsyD; Kwang-Ik Hong, MS; R. Todd Constable, PhD; Rajita Sinha, PhD, all of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Study's results...

The researchers used brain scans to investigate neural activity, examining 45 alcohol dependent (AD) treatment engaged patients, setting up a control group to compare 30 demographically matched AD patients and 30 healthy control subjects during stress, alcohol, and neutral-relaxing cues. According to a report by Medical Daily: "Patients with hyperactivity in the prefrontal cortex were eight times more likely to relapse than alcohol-dependent patients with normal activity, or as compared with healthy control subjects." 

Going forward...

The study's senior author, Rajita Sinha, Ph.D., says it best:
"The patterns of brain activity we observed may one day serve as a neural marker that could help clinicians identify alcohol-dependent patients in recovery who are most at risk of relapse. Our findings may also have implications for the use of medications and behavioral treatments that restore prefrontal function, as they could potentially benefit people at high risk of relapse."

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