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Biomarkers in the treatment of alcohol use disorders

Journal: Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 021-031

Keywords : Alcohol drinking. State markers. Trait markers.;

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Several biochemical measurements to objectively assess patients’ current or past alcohol use are available. The blood tests used traditionally as markers of excessive drinking are the liver enzymes, gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and the red blood cell volume (mean corpuscular volume; MCV). However none of these currently available biomarkers are ideal. Several more experimental markers hold promise for measuring acute alcohol consumption and relapse. These include certain alcohol byproducts such as acetaldehyde, ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) as well as two measures of sialic acid, a carbohydrate that appears to be altered in alcoholics. Some progress has been made in finding markers that predict people’s genetic predisposition to alcoholism such as genetic differences in several neurotransmitters including beta endorphin and gamma aminobutryic acid (GABA).

Last modified: 2013-12-17 12:20:49