[Neurobiological bases of alcohol addiction]

Presse Med. 2018 Jun;47(6):554-564. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2017.12.001. Epub 2018 Mar 23.
[Article in French]


Alcohol interacts with numerous neurotransmission systems and particularly glutamatergic NMDA receptors and gabaergic GABAA receptors. Binge drinking induces both cerebral damages and cognitive deficits. Alcohol addiction is associated with an increase in the activation threshold of dopaminegic neurons and with a negative emotional state. Alcohol addiction is associated with a deficit in inhibitory control and an increase in motivation to drink alcohol. Environemental cues associated with alcohol trigger drinking desire and can induce relapse. Alcohol disturbs synaptic plasticity phenomena within the brain reward system.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / etiology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Animals
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*