Human laboratory studies have a rich history in the alcoholism field and several important determinants of alcohol use disorders have been successfully modeled under controlled laboratory conditions. Laboratory paradigms have been employed to identify biobehavioral risk markers for alcohol misuse and more recently, have been integrated with behavioral genetic, neuroimaging, and pharmacological approaches to further elucidate the neuropathophysiology of addiction and to screen for efficacious treatments. This review will address the rationale and application of human laboratory models to advance pharmacotherapy development for alcohol dependence. It is argued that when properly implemented, laboratory models may help scientists and clinicians understand mechanisms of pharmacotherapy response, which in turn may inform efforts to optimize the currently available and newly developed treatments for alcoholism. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Keywords: Alcohol, laboratory studies, craving, pharmacotherapy, genetics
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport