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Electrophysiological correlates of alcohol- and non-alcohol-related stimuli processing in binge drinkers: a follow-up study

, : Electrophysiological correlates of alcohol- and non-alcohol-related stimuli processing in binge drinkers: a follow-up study. Journal of Psychopharmacology 28(11): 1041-1052

The continuation of binge drinking is associated with the development of neurocognitive brain abnormalities similar to those observed in patients with alcohol dependence. Alcohol cue reactivity constitutes a risk marker for alcohol dependence. Through event-related potentials (ERPs), we aimed to examine its potential presence as well as its evolution over time in binge drinkers in a one-year period. ERPs were recorded during a visual oddball task in which controls (n=15) and binge drinkers (n=15) had to detect infrequent deviant stimuli (related or unrelated to alcohol) among frequent standard stimuli. The test was performed twice with a one-year interval in order to explore the long-lasting influence of drinking habits. Contrary to the controls, binge drinkers showed significantly reduced amplitudes of the P1 component for both alcohol and non-alcohol-related cues and of the P3 component only for neutral cues in the second assessment compared with the first. The continuation of binge drinking over one year is associated with the development of brain functional abnormalities (indexed by the P1 component) as well as a higher reactivity to alcohol-related stimuli and/or a decreased reactivity to non-alcohol-related stimuli (indexed by the P3 component).


PMID: 25122045

DOI: 10.1177/0269881114545663

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