Alcohol has both stimulatory and sedative effects. The stimulant-like effects of alcohol include an enhanced positive mood, characterized by increased talkativeness and excitement, as well as a heart-rate increase and more energy or movement. The sedative-like effects of alcohol include mood changes such as feeling sluggish, drowsy or fatigued, as well as reduced motor coordination and a slowing of reaction time. In order to investigate if heavy drinkers experience more stimulation and less sedation than light drinkers, researchers in the June issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
examine heavy and light drinkers' self-reported moods and physiological responses after consuming moderate-to-high doses of alcohol.
According to Andrea C. King, a psychologist and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, an individual's subjective responses to alcohol - meaning whether they feel alcohol's stimulating or sedating effects - may determine that individual's vulnerability to future development of alcohol-use problems.
"A person who feels enhanced euphoria and stimulation when drinking alcohol may be more likely to continue to consume alcohol during the drinking bout," said King, who is also the study's lead author. "Since they may be more sensitive to the rewarding effects of alcohol, they may be more vulnerable to developing habitual, heavy drinking patterns which would increase their chances of having eventual alcohol problems and negative consequences related to drinking."
"Alcohol works on different brain chemicals that may be more or less sensitive to various amounts of alcohol in the blood," added Raymond Anton, professor of psychiatry and scientific director of the Alcohol Research Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. "It is likely that different people have different brain chemistries, making them more or less sensitive to one or the other of these effects, stimuPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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