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  • 1.
    Berglund, Kristina J.
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg.
    Balldin, Jan
    Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg .
    Berggren, Ulf
    Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg .
    Gerdner, Arne
    Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. SALVE (Social challenges, Actors, Living conditions, reseach VEnue). Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Behavioural Science and Social Work.
    Fahlke, Claudia
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg .
    Childhood Maltreatment Affects the Serotonergic System in Male Alcohol-Dependent Individuals2013In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, ISSN 0145-6008, E-ISSN 1530-0277, Vol. 37, no 5, p. 757-762Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Reduced central serotonergic neurotransmission has been demonstrated in individuals with excessive alcohol consumption and/or alcohol dependence. Childhood maltreatment has also been found to have a negative impact on central serotonergic neurotransmission. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of childhood maltreatment on central serotonergic dysfunction in alcohol-dependent individuals.

    Methods: Adult men with a diagnosis of alcohol dependence (n=18) were recruited from outpatient treatment units for alcoholism. Central serotonergic neurotransmission was assessed by a neuroendocrine method, that is, the prolactin (PRL) response to the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor citalopram. Childhood maltreatment was assessed retrospectively by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire.

    Results: Alcohol-dependent individuals with childhood experience of emotional abuse had significantly lower PRL response compared with those without such abuse (3 +/- 5 and 64 +/- 24mU/l, respectively; t=6.51, p<0.001). Among those who reported childhood emotional abuse, 4 of 7 individuals had flat PRL responses in comparison with none in those with no report of such abuse (p<0.01).

    Conclusions: This is the first study to show that self-reported childhood maltreatment, in particular emotional abuse, in male alcohol-dependent individuals is associated with a quite dramatic (more than 90%) reduction in central serotonergic neurotransmission. It should, however, be noted that the number of individuals is relatively small, and the results should therefore be considered as preliminary.

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