INSTITUTO DE CALCULO REBECA CHEREP DE GUBER
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Treating Alcohol Use Disorder in U.S. Veterans: The Role of Traumatic Brain Injury
JORGE, RICARDO E.; MCGAVIN, JILL K.; ARNDT, STEPHAN; LI, RUOSHA; SHORTER, DARYL I.; LIU, XIANGYU; ACION, LAURA
J. NEUROPSYCHIATRY CLIN. NEUROSCI.
OBJECTIVE:The authors examined the efficacy of valproate to reduce relapse to heavy drinking among veterans with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and neuropsychiatric comorbidities and whether antecedent traumatic brain injury (TBI) or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affected treatment response.METHODS:Participants were male veterans 18-60 years old with an AUD and no other substance use besides nicotine or cannabis. Sixty-two patients were randomly assigned to receive either valproate or naltrexone. Participants were evaluated at baseline and followed weekly for 24 weeks. All participants received standardized psychosocial interventions as well as treatment for coexistent psychiatric conditions.RESULTS:During the follow-up period, nine study subjects in the naltrexone group and 14 in the valproate group relapsed to heavy drinking, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. Participants with a history of moderate to severe TBI were more likely to relapse to heavy drinking compared with those with no TBI (hazard ratio=4.834, 95% CI=1.103-21.194, p=0.033). PTSD status did not significantly affect outcome.CONCLUSIONS:Intensive outpatient programs are efficacious alternatives to treat AUD in veterans, although the role of pharmacological treatment is not completely elucidated. Glutamatergic agents appear to be less effective than opiate antagonists to prevent relapse to heavy drinking and to increase cumulative abstinence. Future studies should examine novel pharmacological and nonpharmacological options.