Advancing Alcohol Biomarkers Research

Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland Hospital for Children, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research (Impact Factor: 3.21). 04/2010; 34(6):941-5. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01168.x
Source: PubMed


Biomarkers to detect past alcohol use and identify alcohol-related diseases have long been pursued as important tools for research into alcohol use disorders as well as for clinical and treatment applications and other settings. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) sponsored a workshop titled "Workshop on Biomarkers for Alcohol-Induced Disorders" in June 2008. The intent of this workshop was to review and discuss recent progress in the development and implementation of biomarkers for alcohol use and alcohol-related disorders with a goal to formulate a set of recommendations to use to stimulate and advance research progress in this critical area of alcoholism research. Presentations at this workshop reviewed the current status of alcohol biomarkers, providing a summary of the history of biomarkers and the major goals of alcohol biomarker research. Moreover, presentations provided a comprehensive overview of the current status of several well-recognized biomarkers of alcohol use, a summary of recent studies to characterize novel biomarkers and their validation, along with perspectives and experiences from other NIH institutes and from other federal agencies and industry, related to regulatory issues. Following these presentations, a panel discussion focused on a set of issues presented by the organizers of this workshop. These discussion points addressed: (i) issues related to strategies to be adopted to stimulate biomarker discovery and application, (ii) the relevance of animal studies in biomarker development and the status of biomarkers in basic science studies, and (iii) issues related to the opportunities for clinical and commercial applications. This article summarizes these perspectives and highlights topics that constituted the basis for recommendations to enhance alcohol biomarker research.

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