Korean J Biol Psychiatry.  2011 Aug;18(3):109-118.

Neurobiological and Clinical Characteristics According to Lesch's Typology in Alcohol Dependence

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Molecular & Life Sciences, Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea.
  • 2KARF Hospital, The Korean Alcohol Research Foundation, Goyang, Korea. lee.bunhee@gmail.com

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
Many studies have suggested different neurobiological findings and clinical courses in alcoholism. Recently, subtyping in alcohol dependence has become essential to overcome the heterogeneity of patients. Among several criteria of subtypes, Lesch's typology is proposed to integrate biological, social, and psychological factors. This review provides neurobiological findings and treatment-responses of alcohol dependence according to Lesch's typology. METHOD: We searched the international published medical literature using the search terms 'Lesch's typology' and 'alcohol dependence' and using the limits 'human'.
RESULTS
We identified 17 studies with subjects of alcohol dependence according to Lesch's typology.
CONCLUSION
They indicated that each subtype of Lesch's typology can have specific neurobiological factors and different clinical responses as follows. Lesch's subtype 1 is characterized by severe withdrawal symptoms and associated with elevated glutamate and homocysteine. Lesch's subtype 2 is defined by individuals who drink alcohol as self-medication for anxiety. Their craving has significant positive correlations with prolactin, leptin level, or intake-volume (vasopressin). Lesch's subtype 4 is related to cerebral dysfunction and associated with increased glutamate and left-handedness. Clinical trials showed that naltrexone was effective in Lesch's subtype 3 and 4 patients, while acamprosate was effective in the subtypes 1 and 2.

Keyword

Alcohol dependence; Lesch's typology; Neurobiological finding; Treatment responsen

MeSH Terms

Alcoholism
Anxiety
Glutamic Acid
Homocysteine
Humans
Leptin
Naltrexone
Population Characteristics
Prolactin
Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
Taurine
Glutamic Acid
Homocysteine
Leptin
Naltrexone
Prolactin
Taurine
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