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Alcohol and Aggression: Neurological, Environmental Factors may Contribute to Issue

First Posted: Nov 07, 2013 05:12 PM EST
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A recent study looks at the links between alcohol-related aggression and certain social and neurobiological factors that may contribute to the issue.

Statistics show that one-third of all acts of violence are perpetrated when the individual or individuals are under the influence of alcohol. As this can cause injuries that may involve police and medical officials, socio-economic losses often result from alcohol related fights or issues pertaining to such events.

Researchers thus ask the question--what is alcohol-related aggression?

Lead study authors Anne Beck and Andreas Heinz investigate this question and present their findings via an international German journal regarding the subject.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 15,990 individuals in the United States alone will die annually from alcoholic liver diseases and the number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides, are close to 26,000 each year.

Researchers analyze the social, psychological and neurobiological factors that contribute to the link between alcohol consumption and increased aggression.

A reduction in cognitive control may result from heavy alcohol consumption, forming violent behavior from the intoxicated individual in certain situations.

According to current research, there are also additional factors that may include an individual's behavior when under a heavy amount of alcohol.

As previous studies have linked a genetic component to alcohol addiction, research from prior findings have shown that both anxiety and depression can be key factors in the complexity of the disease.

Beck and Heinz write that for men in particular, the aggression seen seems to be strengthened through heavy amounts of alcohol and more acceptable in social interactions than for women.

However, environmental conditions that may begin in early childhood including social discrimination may further the risk factors for alcohol related issues and increased aggression.

More information regarding the study can be found via the edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

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