Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Annual Scientific Meeting 2020

From June 22-24, 2020, members of the SHARC team virtually attended the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Annual Scientific Meeting.

Established in 1976, RSA assists and encourages the application of research to the solution of problems related to alcoholism. Today, RSA serves as a meeting ground for scientists; providing a forum for communication among researchers and promoting the acquisition and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the areas of basic science, risks and resiliency, education and prevention, treatment, outcome and recovery, and policy and economics.

The Annual Scientific Meeting provides a meeting place for scientists and clinicians from across the country, and around the world, to interact.  It allows a unique opportunity to meet people, doing work in alcohol research, on a personal level. The meeting also gives members and non-members the chance to present their latest findings in alcohol research through abstract and symposia submissions.

Members from the SHARC team joined the RSA Annual Scientific Meeting and presented their research including:

Magnetic Resonance Diffusion Imaging Assessment of Brain Tissue Structural Changes after 30-Days of Alcohol Abstinance in Chronic Heavy Drinkers with HIV Infection
Varan Govind, PhD; Sulaiman Sheriff; Teddy Salan, PhD; Ronald Cohen, PhD; Robert L Cook, MD, MPH

We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with free water elimination (FWE) to examine microstructural changes in the brain of chronic alcohol drinkers after a period of abstinence. We also looked at how HIV infection in the brain may affect alcohol recovery. Our results show that for participants who maintained a good abstinence behavior there are signs of regrowth or repair of neural tissue possibly due to reduced brain inflammation. We also observed an increase in free water volume which could account for the increase in total cortical volume that is generally reported with alcohol recovery. Those changes are mainly observed near the frontal part of the brain. We did not observe any significant difference between HIV+ and HIV- control participants.

Read more here.

Do Reductions in Self-reported Alcohol Consumption Correlate with Reductions in Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) among Women Living with HIV?
Veronica Richards, MPH, CPH; Ruba Sajdeya, MD; Karina Villalba, PhD, MPH; Yan Wang, PhD; Babette Brumback, PhD; Kendall Bryant, PhD; Judith Hahn, PhD; Robert L Cook, MD, MPH

This study aims to (1) explore how phosphatidylethanol (PEth) varies according to
demographic and biological factors that may influence PEth formation and elimination; (2) determine whether a 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-week timeline followback (TLFB) self-reported average drinks per week best correlated with PEth at baseline; and (3)examine the strength of the relationship between individual-level change in drinking and change in PEth over 7 months among women living with HIV (WLWH).

In this sample of WLWH, using a 1-week TLFB was sufficient for recent drinking
history based on the correlations between average number of drinks per week and baseline PEth within individuals. Change in self-reported drinking was not strongly correlated with change in PEth over time. Issues related to both self-reported drinking and biomarkers, including variability by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and biological aspects (e.g., BMI, hemoglobin) require further investigation

Read more here.

Information Source: RSA Website