Very interesting and hopeful stuff out of Germany for treating alcoholics. Two appetite-regulating hormones have been shown to affect alcohol craving, but in sometimes unique ways with unique drinkers. The study focused on “four types of alcohol dependence. Type 1 refers to people with heavy alcohol withdrawal symptoms who tend to use alcohol to weaken withdrawal symptoms. Type 2 patients use alcohol as self-medication because of its anti-anxiety effects. In patients with Type 3, the main characteristic is an affective disorder as origin for alcohol abuse. Type 4 patients show pre-illness brain defects, behavior disorders and a high social burden.” The results?
Our findings show that there exist important differences between alcohol-dependent patients, not only regarding psychosocial but also regarding neurobiological influences," said Hillemacher.
In a written statement, Dr. Otto Lesch of the University of Vienna noted that "in alcohol dependence, 88 different methods are used to decrease relapse rates. Most of them are not effective, some of them increase relapse rates, some of them are really effective in subgroups of alcohol-dependent patients, but there is no one method which has only positive results."
This study's results, he added, are of great importance to alcohol research because they help to clarify that other studies' results may be due to different selection criteria leading to different rates among subgroups.