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This protocol will investigate the neurobiological underpinnings of alcohol craving in recently detoxified alcoholic drinkers utilizing novel functional brain imaging. This clinical magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) study will investigate whether glutamate and other brain metabolites correlate to measures of alcohol craving severity
Utilizing Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at 3 Tesla, investigate the neurobiological underpinnings of alcohol craving
assessing baseline perturbations in anterior cingulate and ventral striatal metabolites (NAA levels, glutamate levels, glutamine levels)
Secondary Outcome Measures
Evaluate the relationship between these metabolites, each reported as a Cerebrospinal Fluid-corrected absolute concentration, and severity of alcohol cravings
Evaluate the relationship between these metabolites, each reported as a Cerebrospinal fluid-corrected absolute concentration, and severity of alcohol cravings, as measured primarily by the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale and secondarily by the Inventory of Drug Taking Situations.
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Ages Eligible for Study:
21 Years to 70 Years (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Inclusion Criteria: (Minimal or No Alcohol Group)
Male or female age 21-70
Consume less alcohol then what is described in this protocol as a "higher dose drinker", or consume no alcohol at all.
Able to complete a 60 min. MRS brain scan.
Inability to speak English
Inability or unwillingness to provide written informed consent
Diagnosis of active substance dependence other than nicotine (e.g. alcohol, cannabis, caffeine, prescription use of barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opiates, or stimulants) this will be determined using a PRISM (Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders) interview.
Any unstable active medical or additional psychiatric condition as determined by the investigator
Active suicidal ideation as determined by the PHQ-9 question 9 indicating response #2 or higher (several days; more than half the days; or nearly every day).
History of encephalopathy, hepatic failure, or HIV seropositivity
History of claustrophobia
History of major head trauma with loss of consciousness >5 minutes or skull fracture
History of previous neurological event (e.g. epilepsy, stroke, transient ischemic attack)
Implanted metal objects (e.g. pacemakers; aneurysm clips; metal prostheses, joints, rods, or plates)