John C Umhau

John C Umhau

MD, MPH, CPE

About

66
Publications
14,740
Reads
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3,519
Citations
Citations since 2016
15 Research Items
1458 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Introduction
John C Umhau MD MPH CPE is a retired USPHS Medical officer with public health, research and extensive experience treating alcohol use disorder. At the FDA, he reviewed new psychiatric drug applications. As a Senior Clinical Investigator at NIH, he led teams conducting neuroscience research in medication development, nutrition, and addiction treatment. His private clinical practice is devoted the treatment of alcohol abuse via telemedicine.
Additional affiliations
July 1993 - September 2013
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Position
  • Senior Clinical Investigator
July 1993 - August 2013
National Institutes of Health
Position
  • Seniior Clinical Investigator
January 1987 - April 1987
Johns Hopkins Preventive Medicine Residency
Position
  • Instuctor
Description
  • Clinical Preventive Medicine Instruction
Education
August 1984 - July 1987
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Field of study
  • Health Policy and Management
July 1977 - May 1981

Publications

Publications (66)
Article
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Objectives: To illustrate the use of machine learning methods to search for heterogeneous effects of a target modifiable risk factor on suicide in observational studies. The illustration focuses on secondary analysis of a matched case-control study of vitamin D deficiency predicting subsequent suicide. Methods: We describe a variety of machine l...
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Objective: Fatty acids (FAs) are involved in the functioning of biological systems previously associated with suicidal behavior (eg, monoamine signaling and the immune system). We sought to determine (1) whether observed FA levels in a sample of military suicide decedents and living matched controls were consistent with latent classes having disti...
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Alcohol‐associated liver disease (ALD) is a spectrum of liver disorders ranging from steatosis to steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Alcohol‐associated hepatitis (AH) is an acute and often severe form of ALD with substantial morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms and mediators of ALD progression and severity are not well understood, and eff...
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RationaleProinflammatory processes have been implicated in alcohol addiction, craving, and relapse, while studies in experimental animals have suggested that activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) inhibits proinflammatory signaling. Accordingly, it is hypothesized that medications with PPARγ activity may have therape...
Article
This article examines mental health care utilization and psychiatric diagnoses among US military personnel who died by suicide. We employed an existing electronic health record dataset including 800 US military suicide decedents and 800 matched controls. Suicide decedents were more likely to have received outpatient and inpatient mental health care...
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Aim: Chronic heavy alcohol intake frequently causes liver inflammation/injury, and altered mineral metabolism may be involved in this liver pathology. In this study, we evaluated the association of heavy drinking, changes in serum magnesium levels and biochemical evidence of liver injury in alcohol-use-disorder (AUD) patients who had no clinical s...
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Largely underutilized in North America, the use of medications to treat alcohol dependence is frequently a successful method of reducing alcohol craving and promoting abstinence. Recovery from alcohol addiction can be a complicated process, requiring nutritional, social, psychological, spiritual, and physical aspects of healing and self-directed be...
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Suicide morbidity and mortality are serious public health problems, accounting for over 40,000 deaths annually and over $10billion in combined medical and work loss costs. Suicidal behavior is the outcome of a complex causal web of distal and proximalrisk processes that includes a range of interacting environmental and biological determinants. We r...
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Background The apolipoprotein E ɛ4 (APOE4) allele is the strongest genetic risk factor identified for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Among brain lipids, alteration in the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) homeostasis is implicated in AD pathogenesis. APOE4 may influence both brain DHA metabolism and cognitive outcomes....
Article
Background: Interactions between the liver, the gut, and the immune system are critical components of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). The aim of this study was to explore the associations between alcohol-induced liver injury, endotoxemia, and inflammation at admission and over time during abstinence, as well as to examine the sex-related difference...
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Liver inflammation in alcoholism has been hypothesized to influence the development of a neuroinflammatory process in the brain characterized by neurodegeneration and altered cognitive function. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1/chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (MCP-1/CCL2) elevations have been noted in the alcoholic brain at autopsy and may have a...
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Chronic alcohol dependence has been associated with disturbed behavior, cerebral atrophy and a low plasma concentration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22∶6n-3), particularly if liver disease is present. In animal models, excessive alcohol consumption is reported to reduce brain DHA concentration, suggesting disturbed brain DHA metabolism. We hypothe...
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Considering that epidemiological studies show that suicide rates in many countries are highest in the spring when vitamin D status is lowest, and that low vitamin D status can affect brain function, we sought to evaluate if a low level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] could be a predisposing factor for suicide. We conducted a prospective, nested, c...
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Background Episodes of explosive rage and violence comprise a symptom complex which can have a devastating effect on a person's life. In the community this behavior is seen as workplace violence, domestic abuse and road rage, while in the clinical setting, this behavior is rarely mentioned by patients, despite evidence that it can signify an import...
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Brain cannabinoid CB(1) receptors contribute to alcohol-related behaviors in experimental animals, but their potential role in humans with alcohol dependence is poorly understood. We measured CB(1) receptors in alcohol dependent patients in early and protracted abstinence, and in comparison with control subjects without alcohol use disorders, using...
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The Dietary Supplement and Health and Education Act of 1994 gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responsibility for oversight of the dietary supplement industry. Recent draft guidelines proposed by the FDA to insure the safety of new dietary ingredients would significantly alter the ability of manufacturers to bring new dietary ingredi...
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We developed a novel method to study dopaminergic neurotransmission using positron emission tomography (PET) with [1-(11)C]arachidonic acid ([1-(11)C]AA). Previous preclinical studies have shown the utility of [1-(11)C]AA as a marker of signal transduction coupled to cytosolic phospholipase A(2) (cPLA(2)). Using [1-(11)C]AA and [(15)O]water PET, we...
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Excessive alcohol use, a major cause of morbidity and mortality, is less well understood than other addictive disorders. Dopamine release in ventral striatum is a common element of drug reward, but alcohol has an unusually complex pharmacology, and humans vary greatly in their alcohol responses. This variation is related to genetic susceptibility f...
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Modulation of alcohol craving induced by challenge stimuli may predict the efficacy of new pharmacotherapies for alcoholism. We evaluated two pharmacological challenges, the α(2)-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine, which reinstates alcohol seeking in rats, and the serotonergic compound meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP), previously reported to increas...
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To the Editor: The recent clinical trial by Dr Quinn and colleagues shows that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) had no effect on the progression of Alzheimer disease (AD).1 Multiple epidemiological studies examining fish consumption and tissue DHA levels are cited to support the proposition that increased DHA intake might protect the brain from the devas...
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Behaviorally based therapies for the treatment of perpetrators who initiate intimate partner violence (IPV) have generally shown minimal therapeutic efficacy. To explore a new treatment approach for IPV, we examined the effects of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor on the irritability subscale score of the Modified Overt Aggression Scale. Thi...
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Acamprosate is approved for the treatment of alcoholism, but its mechanism of action remains unclear. Results of animal studies suggest that a persistent hyperglutamatergic state contributes to the pathogenesis of alcoholism and that acamprosate may exert its actions by intervening in this process. Human translation of these findings is lacking. To...
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An extensive literature documents biological correlates of general aggression, but there has been less focus on biological correlates of intimate partner violence (IPV). The purpose of this review is to summarize the research literature to date that has reported on biological factors in IPV perpetration. We review the existing literature on four do...
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We would like to take this opportunity to respond to the Commentary by Cannell and his distinguished colleagues' (herein referred to as the "Commentary"). We agree that extensive basic research and adult clinical research performed in the past few decades have demonstrated that the levels of vitamin D required for optimal health are much higher tha...
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Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) is a critical constituent of the brain, but its metabolism has not been measured in the human brain in vivo. In monkeys, using positron emission tomography (PET), we first showed that intravenously injected [1-(11)C]DHA mostly entered nonbrain organs, with approximately 0.5% entering the brain. Then, using PET an...
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Good health has been linked with healthy diet as far back as the sixth century b.c. when the clinical effects of a vegetarian diet on a group of Hebrew captives were documented in the Book of Daniel (Josephus, 1994). In this chapter, we will discuss diverse effects of an essential component of a healthy diet, long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatt...
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In 1981, R. Edgar Hope-Simpson proposed that a 'seasonal stimulus' intimately associated with solar radiation explained the remarkable seasonality of epidemic influenza. Solar radiation triggers robust seasonal vitamin D production in the skin; vitamin D deficiency is common in the winter, and activated vitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D, a steroid hormone, has...
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Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), an essential omega 3 fatty acid, may protect against disorders of emotional regulation as well as cardiovascular disease. Animal studies demonstrate that dietary folate can increase tissue concentrations of DHA, although the literature, to date, includes no human studies examining the possibility that folate sta...
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Research indicates that perpetrators of domestic violence have abnormalities in central serotonin and testosterone metabolism, an increased sensitivity to anxiogenic stimuli, and an impaired neuro-connection between their cortex and the amygdala. Clinical evaluations show that perpetrators of domestic violence also have a distinguishing set of beha...
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Elevated levels of corticotrophin-releasing hormone in the cortical-hippocampal-amygdala pathway increase fear and anxiety, which are components of defensive and violent behaviors. Prostaglandins E2 and F2alpha, which increase corticotrophin-releasing hormone RNA expression in this pathway, are reduced by dietary intakes of omega-3 fats. Among 21 p...
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In an earlier study, we reported that some perpetrators of domestic violence evidenced exaggerated fear-related responses to the panicogenic agent sodium lactate. In the current study, we employed positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate our hypothesis that there are differences in the neural structures and/or pathways that mediate and con...
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Medications which influence monoaminergic neurotransmission can also have an effect on glucose regulation. In order to better understand the role of central monoaminergic neurotransmission in blood glucose homeostasis, we explored the relation between blood glucose and cerebrospinal fluid metabolite concentrations of monoaminergic neurotransmitters...
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- In this study we explored the relationship between alcohol and carbohydrate consumption in long-term abstinent alcoholics. We employed an established laboratory paradigm which allowed us to stimulate and measure dietary intake. 2-Deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG) is a glucose analogue that causes an intracellular energy deprivation resulting in exaggerated...
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Perpetrators of domestic violence describe symptoms that are compatible with exaggerated autonomic arousal at the time of the domestic violence. This inappropriate arousal may be reflected in altered heart rate regulation. If heart rate is systematically regulated by vagal mechanisms, then increases in heart rate should correlate with decreases in...
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In a previous study we administered the panicogenic agent sodium lactate to a select group of perpetrators of domestic violence and comparison groups. Results of that study showed that perpetrators exhibited exaggerated lactate-induced fear, panic and rage. In this current study, we compared the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of 5-hydro...
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Background: The body adapts to diverse stressful stimuli with a response characterized by activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Chronic alcohol consumption can cause changes in the function of this neuroendocrine system. Although many studies have examined this phenomenon in drinking and recently sober alcoholics, few studie...
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Perpetrators of domestic violence frequently report symptoms of autonomic arousal and a sense of fear and/or loss of control at the time of the violence. Since many of these symptoms are also associated with panic attacks, we hypothesized that perpetrators of domestic violence and patients with panic attacks may share similar exaggerated fear-relat...
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Low concentrations of a metabolite of serotonin found in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA), are strongly associated with suicidal and violent behaviors. Although lowering of plasma total cholesterol has been suggested to increase mortality from suicide and violence by decreasing concentrations of CSF 5-HIAA via changes i...
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The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) has been argued to be a sensitive indicator of frontal lobe function. However, several recent studies have failed to find a consistent relationship between structural damage to this cortical area and perseveration on the test. In the present study, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with 18F-fluorodeox...
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Among an independent group of subjects selected for their history of violent, impulsive behaviors and nonviolent control subjects, we attempted to replicate the finding that plasma docosahexaenoic acid concentrations were negatively correlated with cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (CSF 5-HIAA) concentrations. CSF 5-HIAA and homovanill...
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Impulsive violence, suicide, and depression are strongly associated with low concentrations of cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (CSF 5-HIAA). Increased suicide and trauma reported in some cholesterol-lowering trials may be related to altered concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids rather than cholesterol, a possible surrogate ma...