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ISSN: 2155-6105

Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
Open Access

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Research Article

Mechanisms and Mediators of the Relationship between Anxiety Disorders and Alcohol Use Disorders: Focus on Amygdalar NPY

Amanda C Sharko*, Jim R Fadel and Marlene A Wilson

PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Amanda C Sharko
Department of Pharmacology Physiology & Neuroscience Bldg 1 D26
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Tel: (803) 216-3503
Fax: (803) 216-3538
E-mail: [email protected]

Received June 30, 2013; Accepted July 29, 2013; Published August 02, 2013

Citation: Sharko AC, Fadel JR, Wilson MA (2013) Mechanisms and Mediators of the Relationship between Anxiety Disorders and Alcohol Use Disorders: Focus on Amygdalar NPY. J Addict Res Ther S4:014. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.S4-014

Copyright: © 2013 Sharko AC, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

High rates of co morbidity for Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) and anxiety disorders suggest a causative relationship between these disorders, as well as overlapping neurobiological mechanisms. While it is well established that alcohol withdrawal can precipitate and exacerbate the expression of anxiety, the extent to which pre-existing anxiety disorders contribute to the development of AUDs is less clear. Anxiety relief is commonly cited as a motivation to consume alcohol and recent preclinical studies focusing on the relationship between innate anxiety phenotypes and alcohol– related behaviors support the notion that elevated anxiety may contribute to increased alcohol consumption. However, the endogenous neural mechanisms that mediate this relationship have yet to be fully defined. This review focuses on the relationship between anxiety-related responses and acute alcohol effects, including the potential role that the Neuropeptide Y (NPY) system in the amygdala plays in mediating the neurobiological intersection of anxiety-alcohol effects.

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