P3 components and adolescent binge drinking in Southwest California Indians

Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2007 Jan-Feb;29(1):153-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2006.11.013. Epub 2006 Dec 8.


In adolescence, consuming a large number of drinks over a short interval of time (e.g. binging) is not an uncommon occurrence. Since adolescence is an important neurodevelopmental period, the effect of binge drinking on brain and behavior has become a significant health concern. The present study evaluated event-related potentials (ERPs) in young adult Southwest California Indians who had a history of binge drinking during their adolescence. One hundred twenty five participants who were currently 18-25 yrs of age who were free of Axis I psychiatric diagnoses were categorized as: 1) reporting no binge drinking during adolescence (>5 drinks per occasion before age 18) or drug dependence diagnoses 2) reporting binge drinking during adolescence with no drug dependence diagnoses 3) reporting binge drinking during adolescence and drug dependence diagnoses. ERPs were collected using a facial discrimination task. Adolescent alcohol and drug exposure was found to be associated with decreases in the latency of an early P3 component (P350). Decreases in a later component amplitude (P450) were also found in young adults exposed to alcohol, and those exposed to alcohol and drugs. However, that finding appears to be a combined result of predisposing factors such as family history of alcoholism and presence of other externalizing diagnoses. Taken together these preliminary studies suggests that adolescent binge drinking may result in a decreases in P3 component latencies and amplitudes perhaps reflecting a loss or delay in the development of inhibitory brain systems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / physiopathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • California / epidemiology
  • California / ethnology
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods