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Rasmussen D.D.,VISN 20 Mental Illness Research | Rasmussen D.D.,University of Washington | Beckwith L.E.,VA Puget Sound Health Care System | Beckwith L.E.,University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2014

Background: Evidence suggests that activation of the noradrenergic system may contribute to alcohol drinking in animals and humans. Our previous studies demonstrated that blocking α1-adrenergic receptors with the antagonist, prazosin, decreased alcohol drinking in rats under various conditions. As noradrenergic activation is also regulated by β-adrenergic receptors, we now examine the effects of the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist, propranolol, alone or in combination with prazosin, on alcohol drinking in rats selectively bred for high voluntary alcohol intake and alcohol preference (P line). Methods: Two studies were conducted with male P rats. In study 1, rats were allowed to become alcohol-dependent during 14 weeks of ad libitum access to food, water, and 20% alcohol, and the effect of propranolol (5 to 15 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [IP]) and prazosin (1 to 2 mg/kg, IP) on alcohol intake during withdrawal was assessed. In study 2, the effect of propranolol (5 mg/kg, IP) and prazosin (2 mg/kg, IP) on alcohol intake following prolonged imposed abstinence was assessed. Results: Alcohol drinking following propranolol treatment was variable, but the combination of propranolol + prazosin consistently suppressed alcohol drinking during both alcohol withdrawal and following prolonged imposed abstinence, and the combination of these 2 drugs was more effective than was treatment with either drug alone. Conclusions: Treatment with prazosin + propranolol, or a combination of other centrally active α1- and β-adrenergic receptor antagonists, may assist in preventing alcohol relapse in some individuals. © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

O'Neil M.L.,University of Washington | Beckwith L.E.,University of Washington | Kincaid C.L.,University of Washington | Rasmussen D.D.,University of Washington | Rasmussen D.D.,VISN 20 Mental Illness Research
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2013

Background: Evidence supports a role for the noradrenergic system in alcohol drinking in animals and humans. Our previous studies demonstrated the efficacy of prazosin, an α1-adrenergic antagonist, in decreasing alcohol drinking in rat models of alcohol dependence. Prazosin has also been shown to decrease alcohol drinking in treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent men. Clinically, the use of prazosin is limited by the requirement for multiple daily administrations, whereas doxazosin, a structurally similar α1-adrenergic antagonist, requires only once-daily dosing. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that doxazosin, like prazosin, would decrease alcohol drinking in rats selectively bred for alcohol preference (P line). Methods: Adult male P rats were given 2 h/d scheduled access to a 2-bottle choice (15% v/v alcohol vs. water) session 5 d/wk (M-F), with food and water available ad libitum 24 h/d. Rats were injected with doxazosin (0 to 10 mg/kg, IP) 40 minutes prior to initiation of the alcohol access session in 3 trials (of 3, 5, and 5 consecutive days) each separated by 5 to 8 weeks. The third trial included 1 day without alcohol access (for locomotor testing), and 1 day of a single hour of alcohol access (for plasma alcohol determination). Results: Doxazosin significantly reduced alcohol intake in all 3 trials. The 5 mg/kg dose consistently reduced alcohol intake, increased water drinking, did not affect locomotor activity, and resulted in lower plasma alcohol concentrations, suggesting that the doxazosin-induced reduction in alcohol drinking was not dependent on a motor impairment or an alteration in alcohol clearance. Conclusions: Doxazosin decreases voluntary alcohol consumption by male alcohol-preferring (P) rats, supporting a role for the noradrenergic system in alcohol drinking in P rats and suggesting that doxazosin could potentially be an effective once-daily pharmacotherapeutic agent for the treatment of alcohol use disorders. © 2012 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Rasmussen D.D.,VISN 20 Mental Illness Research | Rasmussen D.D.,University of Washington | Kincaid C.L.,VA Puget Sound Health Care System | Kincaid C.L.,University of Washington | Froehlich J.C.,Indiana University
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2015

Background: Prazosin (PRZ; an α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist) and naltrexone (NTX; a nonspecific opioid receptor antagonist) each decrease alcohol drinking when administered to rats selectively bred for high voluntary alcohol drinking (alcohol-preferring or "P"), and the combination of PRZ + NTX decreases alcohol drinking more effectively than does either drug alone. As drug responsiveness can depend on history of alcohol drinking and dependence, we investigated whether various schedules of PRZ and NTX administration, alone or in combination, are effective in decreasing alcohol drinking in male P rats with a history of protracted voluntary alcohol drinking, dependence, and repeated withdrawals closely resembling human alcoholism. Methods: Male P rats became alcohol-dependent during 1 year of ad libitum 24 h/d access to food, water, and 20% alcohol with repetitive temporary alcohol withdrawals. Four sequential studies then addressed effects of oral PRZ (2 mg/kg) and NTX (10 mg/kg), alone or together, on alcohol drinking during: (i) daily alcohol access with daily drug treatment, (ii) intermittent alcohol access with daily drug treatment, (iii) intermittent alcohol access with occasional drug treatment, and (iv) postdeprivation reinstatement of alcohol access. Results: The combination of PRZ + NTX consistently suppressed alcohol drinking during daily or intermittent alcohol access conditions and when drug treatment was either daily or occasional. PRZ + NTX was consistently more effective than either drug alone. The reduction in alcohol drinking was not due to sedation, motor effects, or malaise. Conclusions: Both daily and "as-needed" treatment with PRZ + NTX are highly effective in suppressing daily, intermittent, and postdeprivation alcohol drinking in male P rats with a protracted history of alcohol dependence and repeated withdrawals. This drug combination may be especially effective for treating individuals with long histories of heavy alcohol abuse, dependence, and repeated relapse, as commonly encountered in clinical practice. © 2015 Research Society on Alcoholism.

Millard S.P.,VISN 20 Mental Illness Research | Millard S.P.,VISN 20 Geriatric Research | Shofer J.,VISN 20 Mental Illness Research | Shofer J.,VISN 20 Geriatric Research | And 29 more authors.
Schizophrenia Research | Year: 2016

Past studies describe numerous endophenotypes associated with schizophrenia (SZ), but many endophenotypes may overlap in information they provide, and few studies have investigated the utility of a multivariate index to improve discrimination between SZ and healthy community comparison subjects (CCS). We investigated 16 endophenotypes from the first phase of the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia, a large, multi-site family study, to determine whether a subset could distinguish SZ probands and CCS just as well as using all 16.Participants included 345 SZ probands and 517 CCS with a valid measure for at least one endophenotype. We used both logistic regression and random forest models to choose a subset of endophenotypes, adjusting for age, gender, smoking status, site, parent education, and the reading subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test. As a sensitivity analysis, we re-fit models using multiple imputations to determine the effect of missing values. We identified four important endophenotypes: antisaccade, Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs 3-digit version, California Verbal Learning Test, and emotion identification. The logistic regression model that used just these four endophenotypes produced essentially the same results as the model that used all 16 (84% vs. 85% accuracy). While a subset of endophenotypes cannot replace clinical diagnosis nor encompass the complexity of the disease, it can aid in the design of future endophenotypic and genetic studies by reducing study cost and subject burden, simplifying sample enrichment, and improving the statistical power of locating those genetic regions associated with schizophrenia that may be the easiest to identify initially. © 2016.

Poorkaj P.,University of Washington | Raskind W.H.,University of Washington | Raskind W.H.,VISN 20 Mental Illness Research | Leverenz J.B.,University of Washington | And 18 more authors.
Movement Disorders | Year: 2010

The parkinsonian syndromes comprise a highly heterogeneous group of disorders. Although 15 loci are linked to predominantly familial Parkinson's disease (PD), additional PD loci are likely to exist. We recently identified a multigenerational family of Danish and German descent in which five males in three generations presented with a unique syndrome characterized by parkinsonian features and variably penetrant spasticity for which X-linked disease transmission was strongly suggested (XPDS). Autopsy in one individual failed to reveal synucleinopathy; however, there was a significant four-repeat tauopathy in the striatum. Our objective was to identify the locus responsible for this unique parkinsonian disorder. Members of the XPDS family were genotyped for markers spanning the X chromosome. Two-point and multipoint linkage analyses were performed and the candidate region refined by analyzing additional markers. A multipoint LODmax score of 2.068 was obtained between markers DXS991 and DXS993. Haplotype examination revealed an ∼20 cM region bounded by markers DXS8042 and DXS1216 that segregated with disease in all affected males and obligate carrier females and was not carried by unaffected at-risk males. To reduce the possibility of a false-positive linkage result, multiple loci and genes associated with other parkinsonian or spasticity syndromes were excluded. In conclusion, we have identified a unique X-linked parkinsonian syndrome with variable spasticity and four-repeat tau pathology, and defined a novel candidate gene locus spanning ∼28 Mb from Xp11.2-Xq13.3. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society.

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