Help needed: chemistry of alcohol addiction

Mike Kirby mkirby at vt.edu
Mon Mar 25 20:14:06 EST 1996


eleusis at netcom.com (Eleusis) wrote:

> The best theory going, AFAIK, is that alcohol causes generalized neuronal 
> membrane depolarization in much the same way that anesthetics work, except 
> anesthetics do it with a bit more selectivity.

What exactly is AFAIK?  This not a term that I've encountered before in
the pharmacological or toxicological literature.  As for EtOH mode of
action, EtOH IS classified as a GABA-A agonist and not characterized as a
having properties similar to anesthetics.  Anesthetics, which I assume
from your description you're referring to locals, tend to cause block in
voltage-gated Na+ channels and also have effects on voltage-dependent,
non-inactivating Na+ conductances.  This differs signifcantly from the
effects EtOH imposes on neurons.  Where did you get your information?  If
there is tenable evidence for other modes of action for EtOH, I'd like to
know.

-- 
Mike Kirby



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