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2013 March

Characterizing Fetal Craniofacial Gene Expression Changes in Response to Chronic Gestational Ethanol Exposure Using a Mouse Model of FAS.

A. Murat Maga, PhD, Acting Assistance Professor
Center for Tissue and Cell Sciences, Seattle Children's Research Institute

Description: "Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” or FASD are considered to be the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) represents the most extreme, viable consequence of maternal alcohol consumption. The reasons for the highly variable outcomes are unknown. The uncertainty might be related to dose, time and duration of exposure as well as the influence of race, gender and maternal age. Although the CNS anomalies are the most well-studied, the facial appearance is the most recognizable and robust diagnostic feature of the FASD. Understanding the factors impacting on craniofacial form is an essential step to improve diagnosis and management of FASD, and will significantly aid the development of more effective educational programs pertaining to the adverse effects of maternal alcohol consumption on fetal and adult health.

Here I propose to use a new mouse model of moderate dose chronic ethanol exposure that produces FAS related measurable phenotypes in adults. My long-term goals are to (1) investigate the role of epigenetic programming in the presentation of alcohol-related malformations through detailed quantification of the craniofacial phenotype and (2) correlate genomic differences with these features to find epigenetically modified genes responsible for the phenotypic differences. This particular proposal will investigate the effect of chronic gestational ethanol exposure to the gene expression levels using microarray experiments and also look for modified genes that might be responsible for the phenotypic variation observed.

Enlisting Significant Others in SBIRT to Reduce Alcohol Use After Trauma

Lindsey Zimmerman, PhD, Senior Fellow
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Debra Kaysen, PhD (Mentor)
Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Description: Purpose: This proposal seeks to pilot the inclusion of significant others (SOs), such as partners, family or friends in the screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) protocol in the Harborview Emergency Department (ED). Overview: Adapted from Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Alcohol Behavioral Couples Therapy, including SOs in SBIRT (called “SBIRT+SO”) will be conducted in the same 30-minute duration as SBIRT “treatment as usual” (SBIRT-TAU). Innovative use of technology in SBIRT+SO 1) increases efficiency through use of tablet computers to provide real-time scoring of measures for providing personalized feedback, 2) enhances effectiveness through weekly text message boosters to the patient and SO after discharge, and 3) facilitates referral to more intensive treatment when online AUDIT scores indicate high risk.

Design: Trauma injury patients (n = 70) positive for blood alcohol content and AUDIT scores > 7 (women) and > 8 (men) will be recruited for participation if they have an SO in the ED (Total N = 140). Participants will be randomized to SBIRT+SO (SOs participate in the feedback) or SBIRT-TAU (SOs only complete assessments). Participants will complete online assessments at 1, 3, and 6 months.

Analyses: Tests of feasibility aims will insure that SBIRT+SO is efficient and acceptable. Over-dispersed Poisson generalized linear models with a binomial covariate for treatment condition will be used to test for significant reductions in drinking days, whereas linear regression will test for reduced drinking consequences in SBIRT+SO as compared to SBIRT-TAU. Logistic regression will be used to assess whether SBIRT+SO increases the likelihood that high-risk patients attend treatment after referral. Finally, an exploratory aim to code the SBIRT+SO and SBIRT-TAU sessions using motivational interviewing codes will provide valuable data regarding the influence of SOs on the feedback session.

Significance: This proposal addresses a gap in the alcohol treatment literature by piloting SO involvement in SBIRT to reduce drinking after trauma.

2013 October

No grants were funded in this cycle.