J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2003 Jul;42(4):466-475.

Neurophysiological Measurement of Alcohol Craving Using Visual Event-Related Potential

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ansk@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Ilsan, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
Alcohol craving, is not only the most common symptom but the key element in alcohol dependence. The aim of this study is to measure ERPs, especially P3 elicted by alcohol related photographs in order to assess the craving in alcohol dependent patients.
METHODS
Based on the result of previous study, 6 alcohol related photographs and 6 control photographs were chosen as visual stimuli. Each stimuli set consisted of alcohol related or control photographs as target stimuli and the same sized checkerboards as non-targets. Stimuli were presented using oddball paradigm for 300 msec with an inter-stimulus interval of 1000 msec in 12 normal controls and 16 abstinent alcohol dependent patients. One session consisted of three blocks; exercise block, control block, alcohol craving block.
RESULTS
The amplitudes of P3 elicited by alcohol related visual stimuli were significantly larger than those of P3 elicited by control stimuli in alcohol dependent patients while there was no significant difference in normal controls.
CONCLUSION
Consistent with the hypothesis, only alcohol-dependent patients were characterized by increased P3 amplitude associated with alcohol-realted visual stimuli compared with control stimuli. The results suggest the ERPs can be used as a neurophysiological correlate of alcohol craving in alcohol dependent patients. Future investigations will be needed to assess the relapse in the patients included in this study in order to elucidate the meaning of the increased P3 amplitude.

Keyword

Alcohol dependence; Alcohol related pictures; P3; ERP

MeSH Terms

Alcoholism
Evoked Potentials*
Humans
Recurrence
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