Does Acetaldehyde Play a Role in Alcoholism? Behavioral versus Biochemical Analysis

  • Brian R. Smith
  • Karen J. Spivak
  • Zalman Amit


The issue whether acetaldehyde plays a functional role in the actions of alcohol remains a controversial area following more than two decades of investigation. The publication of several extensive reviews (Lindros, 1978; Amir et al., 1980; von Wartburg, 1980; Brien and Loomis, 1983, Amit and Smith, 1989) have left little doubt that the first metabolic product of alcohol oxidation is an important contributor to some of the consequences of exposure to ethanol. Unfortunately, despite the massive literature that accumulated during this period, there is, as yet, little consensus concerning which actions of alcohol (if any) are a function of the formation of acetaldehyde.


Ethanol Consumption Ethanol Intake Ethanol Oxidation Acetaldehyde Concentration Alcohol Sensitivity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian R. Smith
    • 1
  • Karen J. Spivak
    • 2
  • Zalman Amit
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology, Department of PsychologyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Addiction Research FoundationTorontoCanada

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