Hypothesizing Darkness Induced Alcohol Intake Linked to Dopaminergic Regulation of Brain Function
Kenneth Blum, Marlene Oscar-Berman, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, Eric R. Braverman, Mark S. Gold
1Department of Psychiatry & McKnight Brain Institute, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA 2Department of Addiction Research & Therapy, Malibu Beach Recovery Center, Malibu Beach, USA 3Department of Psychiatry & Human Integrated Services Unit, College of Medicine, University of Vermont Center for Clinical & Translational Science, Burlington, USA 4Department of Nutrigenomics, BioClarity, Inc., La Jolla, USA 5Department of Clinical Neurology, Path Foundation, New York, USA 6Department of Personalized Medicine, IGENE, LLC., Austin, USA 7Dominion Diagnostics, LLC., North Kingstown, USA.
1Department of Psychiatry & McKnight Brain Institute, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA 2Department of Clinical Neurology, Path Foundation, New York, USA.
Department of Psychiatry & McKnight Brain Institute, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Laboratory of Neuroimaging and Molecular Imaging, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo Buffalo, New York, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, School of Medicine and Veterans Administration System, Boston University, Boston, USA.
DOI: 10.4236/psych.2014.54038   PDF   HTML   XML   4,883 Downloads   6,220 Views   Citations


Understanding the role of neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex and mesolimbic brain regions has become the subject of intensive neuroscience research worldwide. In the 1970s, our group provided evidences that rats exposed to darkness significantly augmented their alcohol intake. At that time, we proposed that melatonin was the culprit. At around the same time, our laboratory, amongst a few others, proposed that dopamine-adducts with acetaldehyde to induce alcohol intake both in rodents and in humans. While the work in these areas has declined considerably over the years, more recent scientifically sound studies continue to show the importance of these earlier controversial ideas involving alcohol abuse and alcoholism. A review of the literature has provided impetus to systematically access the newer genetic and molecular neurobiological findings relevant to the physiological and psychological motives for high alcohol consumption in animals and humans alike. Thus, we hypothesize that darkness-induced alcohol intake is linked not only to serotonergic-melatonin mechanisms, but also to dopaminergic regulation of brain mesolimbic pathways involving neuronal expression switching in response to long photoperiods affecting gene expression.

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Blum, K. , Oscar-Berman, M. , Badgaiyan, R. , Braverman, E. & Gold, M. (2014). Hypothesizing Darkness Induced Alcohol Intake Linked to Dopaminergic Regulation of Brain Function. Psychology, 5, 282-288. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.54038.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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