This study will assess whether the presence of a particular form of a gene, GABRA2, affects
the functional responses of the human brain to alcohol administration and will evaluate that
relationship in the context of factors known to increase the risk for future alcoholism.
- European American male and females between 21-27 years of age.
- Good health as determined by medical history, physical exam, and laboratory tests.
- Females must have a negative urine pregnancy (hCG) test at the start of each study
- People who consume 0.10 standard drinks per week (12 g-ethanol) per liter of total
body water when averaged over the preceding month, or more, OR who have consumed more
than 0.10 standard drinks per liter of total body water on any one occasion in the
- Inability to read or comprehend eighth grade English.
- Inability to hear or comprehend verbal instructions, or inability or unwillingness to
cooperate with the procedures required for the study.
- Inability to resolve 2 dots, each 2 mm in diameter with centers placed 5 mm apart on a
card placed 20 inches from the bridge of the nose, or the need to wear eyeglasses to
- Current or prior history of any serious disease, including head trauma causing loss of
consciousness, cancer, CNS, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, hepatic,
renal, endocrine, or alcohol or drug dependence, but not alcohol abuse or nicotine
- Positive hepatitis or HIV test at screening, provided subject consented to these
- Current or prior history of alcohol-induced flushing reactions.
- Current diagnosis of Axis-I psychiatric illness.
- Positive result on urine drug screen obtained at the face-to-face interview.
- Pregnancy, as determined by urine HcG on each day of laboratory testing, or intention
to become pregnant for women.
- Use of medications known to interact with alcohol within 2 weeks of the study.