Mothers' maximum drinks ever consumed in 24 hours predicts mental health problems in adolescent offspring

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.46). 09/2010; 51(9):1067-75. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02219.x
Source: PubMed


The maximum number of alcoholic drinks consumed in a single 24-hr period is an alcoholism-related phenotype with both face and empirical validity. It has been associated with severity of withdrawal symptoms and sensitivity to alcohol, genes implicated in alcohol metabolism, and amplitude of a measure of brain activity associated with externalizing disorders in general. In a previous study we found that the maximum number of drinks fathers had ever consumed in 24 hrs was associated with externalizing behaviors and disorders in preadolescent and adolescent children. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether maternal maximum consumption has similar correlates.
We examined associations between maternal maximum consumption and alcohol dependence, respectively, and disruptive disorders and substance-related problems in two large independent population-based cohorts of 17-year-old adolescents.
Maximum consumption was associated with conduct disorder, disruptive disorders in general, early substance use and misuse, and substance disorders in adolescent children regardless of sex. Associations were consistent across cohorts, providing internal replication. They also paralleled our previous findings regarding paternal status. They could not be explained by maternal alcohol dependence, effects of drinking during pregnancy, or paternal maximum consumption. They were not simple artifacts of the fact that maximum consumption is a continuous measure while alcohol dependence is dichotomous.
Despite deriving from a single question about lifetime behavior, parental maximum consumption appears to reflect vulnerability for mental health problems, especially substance-related ones, more directly than a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

Download full-text


Available from: Stephen M Malone, Jan 30, 2015
12 Reads
  • Source
    • "Taken together, our data herein describe highly novel results showing significant changes in hypothalamic gene expression in offspring born to parents exposed to adolescent binge EtOH. Children of alcoholic parents are more prone to develop psychological disorders, such as anxiety, major depression, conduct abnormalities, and attention deficit disorder [98], [99], [100], [101], [102], [103], [104]. Moreover, adoption and twin studies have demonstrated that the propensity to develop these psychological disorders has a strong genetic component [100], [105] however, a clear genetic mark has yet to be identified. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adolescent binge alcohol exposure has long-lasting effects on the expression of hypothalamic genes that regulate the stress response, even in the absence of subsequent adult alcohol exposure. This suggests that alcohol can induce permanent gene expression changes, potentially through epigenetic modifications to specific genes. Epigenetic modifications can be transmitted to future generations therefore, and in these studies we investigated the effects of adolescent binge alcohol exposure on hypothalamic gene expression patterns in the F1 generation offspring. It has been well documented that maternal alcohol exposure during fetal development can have devastating neurological consequences. However, less is known about the consequences of maternal and/or paternal alcohol exposure outside of the gestational time frame. Here, we exposed adolescent male and female rats to a repeated binge EtOH exposure paradigm and then mated them in adulthood. Hypothalamic samples were taken from the offspring of these animals at postnatal day (PND) 7 and subjected to a genome-wide microarray analysis followed by qRT-PCR for selected genes. Importantly, the parents were not intoxicated at the time of mating and were not exposed to EtOH at any time during gestation therefore the offspring were never directly exposed to EtOH. Our results showed that the offspring of alcohol-exposed parents had significant differences compared to offspring from alcohol-naïve parents. Specifically, major differences were observed in the expression of genes that mediate neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity during neurodevelopment, genes important for directing chromatin remodeling, posttranslational modifications or transcription regulation, as well as genes involved in regulation of obesity and reproductive function. These data demonstrate that repeated binge alcohol exposure during pubertal development can potentially have detrimental effects on future offspring even in the absence of direct fetal alcohol exposure.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e89320. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0089320 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Psychophysiology 03/2010; 47(4):603-14. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.00975.x · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aims: Formic acid has recently been detected in maternal blood and umbilical cord blood of infants born to alcohol abusing mothers. This toxic metabolite of methanol requires folate for detoxification. We hypothesized that formic acid produced in the maternal circulation will transfer across the placenta and will be toxic to the placenta. Our objectives were, first, to determine whether formic acid transfers across the human placenta and whether it is toxic to the placenta and second, to determine whether folate can decrease transplacental transfer of formic acid and mitigate toxicity. Methods: Dual perfusion of a single placental lobule ex vivo was used to characterize the transfer of formic acid across the placenta. After a 1-h control period, formic acid (2 mM) was introduced into the maternal circulation with (n = 4) or without folate (1 µM) (n = 4) and was allowed to equilibrate for 3 h. Results: Formic acid transferred rapidly from the maternal to the fetal circulation, and transfer was not altered with the addition of folate. Compared with the control period, there was a significant decrease in hCG secretion (P = 0.03) after addition of formic acid. The addition of folic acid to the perfusate mitigated the decrease in hCG. Conclusions: Formic acid rapidly transfers across the placenta and thus has the potential to be toxic to the developing fetus. Formic acid decreases hCG secretion in the placenta, which may alter steroidogenesis and differentiation of the cytotrophoblasts, and this adverse effect can be mitigated by folate.
    Alcohol and Alcoholism 02/2013; 48(3). DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agt008 · 2.89 Impact Factor
Show more