Disturbances of the stress response: the role of the HPA axis during alcohol withdrawal and abstinence.

B. Adinoff, A. Iranmanesh, J. Veldhuis, L. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interactions among the brain, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands (i.e., the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal [HPA] axis) help regulate the body's response to stress. The adrenal hormone cortisol plays a key role in stress reduction through its effects on multiple body systems. Excessive cortisol activity during both chronic alcohol administration and withdrawal may underlie some of the clinical complications of alcoholism, including increased risk of infectious diseases; bone, muscle, and reproductive system changes; altered energy metabolism; and disorders of mood and intellect. Despite excessive cortisol levels during intoxication and withdrawal, however, the HPA axis becomes less responsive to stress during abstinence, potentially resulting in an impaired capacity to cope with relapse-inducing stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalAlcohol health and research world
Volume22
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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