Influence Of Family History Of Alcoholism On The Analgesic Effects Of Alcohol In Social Drinkers

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Influence Of Family History Of Alcoholism On The Analgesic Effects Of Alcohol In Social Drinkers
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19th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium
Taylor, Justin
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Center for Undergraduate Research
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The analgesic effects of alcohol may be a potent negative reinforcer for future alcohol consumption. Family history of alcoholism may be one factor that predicts the intensity of alcohol’s analgesic effects, and consequently its potency as a negative reinforcer. To study this, we measured pain response to a thermode placed on the forearm of healthy social drinkers (N=12; 50% women) when given a sub-intoxicating dose of alcohol vs. placebo (non-alcoholic beverage) and analyzed how this differed between individuals with (FH+; n=5) and without (FH-; n=7) family history of alcoholism. Using repeated measures ANCOVA controlling for expectation of alcohol analgesia, we found no significant effect of family history on pain threshold or pain tolerance. However, we found a statistically significant difference in ratings of lingering pain 15 sec after removal of the thermode (i.e., 15s aftersensation). FH+ participants gave a significantly lower 15s aftersensation rating when given alcohol (Malc=0.39) vs. when given a placebo (Mplac=1.60; p=.02; Cohen’s dz=1.10). The FH- group showed an opposite trend (Malc=.83 vs. Mplac=.31; p=.18; Cohen’s dz=.91). Our findings provide preliminary evidence that alcohol may serve as a stronger reinforcer in FH+ individuals by dampening lingering pain. ( en )
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Research authors: Justin Taylor, Danielle Wesolowicz, MS, Michael Robinson, PhD, Jeff Boissoneault, PhD - University of Florida
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Faculty Mentor: Jeff Boissoneault - Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida

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Influence of Family History of Alcoholism on the Analgesic Effects of Alcohol in Social Drinkers Justin Taylor, Danielle Wesolowicz MS, Michael Robinson, PhD, Jeff Boissoneault PhD University of Florida, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology DISCUSSION METHODS PARTICIPANT CHARACTERISTICS Participants were 12 healthy social drinkers ( 50 % women) Before testing, participants completed questionnaires regarding demographics, typical drinking behavior, family history of alcoholism, and alcohol expectancies Participants were given either placebo or moderate alcohol ( 065 g/ dL target breath alcohol concentration, or BAC) counterbalanced over two testing sessions All beverages were misted with alcohol to enhance placebo efficacy After absorption, a slow ramping heat stimulus was applied to the volar surface of the forearm for 3 trials Heat stimuli were applied in non overlapping areas of the forearm to avoid sensitization Participants verbally indicated when the heat stimulus became painful (threshold) and intolerable (tolerance) Participan ts used a 10 cm visual analog scale (VAS) to rate pain intensity 15 seconds after thermode removal Main and interactive effects of alcohol dose and family history of alcoholism on pain threshold and tolerance were analyzed using repeated measures ANCOVA, controlling for expectancy of pain relief PAIN THRESHOLD AND TOLERANCE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND CONTACT BACKGROUND/SIGNIFICANCE A substantial proportion of chronic pain patients endorse self medication of pain with alcohol Self medication of pain with alcohol is associated with risk for development of alcohol use disorder Alcohol consumption has been shown to produce clinically relevant reductions in experimental pain paradigms Family risk for alcoholism may be associated with greater pain sensitivity Alcohol may act as a more potent negative reinforcer for these individuals This study investigated the acute analgesic effects of a sub intoxicating dose of alcohol in healthy social drinkers Family history of alcoholism was assessed as a potential moderator of the pain relieving effects of alcohol using a laboratory heat pain paradigm AFTERSENSATION RATINGS Family history of alcoholism did not appear to moderate the effect of moderate alcohol on pain threshold/tolerance An interactive effect of dose and family history of alcoholism was detected for 15 s aftersensation ratings FH+ participants, but not FH had significantly lower 15 s aftersensation ratings with alcohol vs placebo Alcohol may serve as a stronger negative reinforcer in FH+ individuals due to more potent dampening aftersensation Aftersensation has been interpreted as a measure of central sensitization and pain modulation relevant to the development and maintenance of chronic pain These preliminary results warrant systematic investigation using a larger sample Future research should investigate the interaction of alcohol dose and family history on pain aftersensation ratings for other novel pain stimuli (e g musculoskeletal pain) RELATED READINGS Apkarian A. V., Neugebauer V., Koob G., Edwards, S., Levine, J. D., Ferrari, L., Egli M., & Regunathan S. (2013). Neural mechanisms of pain and alcohol dependence. Pharmacol Biochem Behav Brennan, P. L., Schutte K. K., & Moos, R. H. (2005). Pain and use of alcohol to manage pain: prevalence and 3 year outcomes among older problem and non problem drinkers. Addiction, 100 777 786. Egli M., Koob G. F., & Edwards, S. (2012). Alcohol dependence as a chronic pain disorder. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 36 2179 2192. Riley, J. L., 3rd, & King, C. (2009). Self report of alcohol use for pain in a multi ethnic community sample. J Pain, 10 944 952. Stewart SH, Finn PR, Pihl RO. A dose response study of the effects of alcohol on the perceptions of pain and discomfort due to electric shock in men at high familial genetic risk for alcoholism. Psychopharmacology. 1995;119(3):261 267. Thompson T, Oram C, Correll CU, Tsermentseli S, Stubbs B. Analgesic Effects of Alcohol: A Systematic Review and Meta Analysis of Controlled Experimental Studies in Healthy Participants. The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society. 2017;18(5):499 510. Zale, E. L., Maisto S. A., & Ditre J. W. (2015). Interrelations between pain and alcohol: An integrative review. Clin Psychol Rev, 37 57 71. FH+ FH (n=5) Mean (SD) (n=7) Mean (SD) Screening Measures Demographics Age (years) 36.80 (7.26) 28.43 (3.91) Education (years) 17.25 (3.10) 17.71 (2.98) Affective Measures BDI II (total score) 3.20 (5.07) 3.57 (3.87) State Anxiety Index (total score) 29.20 (5.26) 23.43 (2.76) Trait Anxiety Index (total score) 33.00 (9.27) 29.57 (8.62) PILL (total score) 39.80 (22.99) 35.86 (25.75) Alcohol Use Measures QFI (oz. abs. EtOH /day) 0.57 (0.30) 0.65 (0.57) Max QFI (oz. abs. EtOH ) 2.88 (.75) 5.59 (3.57) AUDIT (total score) 5.20 (2.05) 5.71 (1.25) Expectancy of Pain Relief ( 10 to 10) 4.80 (4.44) 1.57 (6.08) Alcohol Session Peak BrAC (g/ dL ) 0.051 (0.011) 0.053 (0.011) Subjective Intoxication (0 10 VAS) 2.20 (1.64) 4.55 (1.78) Perceived Pain Relief (0 10 VAS) 1.77 (1.99) 3.13 (2.90) Pain Threshold (C) 44.67 (1.64) 44.93 (1.75) Pain Tolerance (C) 48.45 (1.20) 48.56 (1.54) 15s Aftersensation (0 10 VAS) 0.39 (1.24) 0.83 (0.70) Placebo Session Subjective Intoxication (0 10 VAS) 0.06 (0.13) 0.49 (1.07) Perceived Pain Relief (0 10 VAS) 0.05 (0.10) 1.22 (1.67) Pain Threshold (C) 44.16 (2.96) 43.79 (2.62) Pain Tolerance (C) 48.08 (1.70) 48.36 (1.58) 15s Aftersensation (0 10 VAS) 1.60 (1.82) .31 (0.29) Figure 1. Bar charts illustrating a) a main effect of alcohol intake on pain threshold across participants (F 1,5 dz =1.18); and b) a non significant effect of alcohol on pain threshold (F 1,9 dz =.37). No interactions of dose and family history were detected. Error bars reflect standard error of the mean. This study was supported by the UF Center for Pain Research and Behavioral Health and the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology The authors report no financial or other relationships that might result in a conflict of interest For additional information, contact Jeff Boissoneault, PhD ( jboissoneault@phhp ufl edu ) Figure 2. Bar chart illustrating a significant interaction of FH and alcohol dose on 15s aftersensation ratings (F 1,8 =8.24, p=.02; 2 p =.51 ). FH+ participants gave a significantly lower 15s AS rating when given alcohol ( M alc =0.39) vs. when given a placebo ( M plac dz =1.10). The FH group showed an opposite trend ( M alc =.83 vs. M plac dz =.91).