The rewarding effects of alcohol after bariatric surgery: do they change and are they associated with pharmacokinetic changes?

Scott G. Engel, Lauren M. Schaefer, Gail A. Kerver, Lynnette M. Leone, Greg Smith, James E. Mitchell, John Gunstad, Ross D. Crosby, Kristine Steffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Research shows that surgery patients who have undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) are at increased risk for an alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, the mechanisms through which this increased risk is incurred are poorly understood. A host of variables have been proposed as potentially causal in developing AUDs, but empirical examination of many of these variables in human samples is lacking. Objectives: Our objective was to examine the extent to which alcohol pharmacokinetics (PK), the rewarding effects of alcohol, and the relationship between these variables change from before to after weight loss surgery. Setting: Large healthcare facility in the Midwest United States Methods: Thirty-four participants completed assessments before and 1 year after RYGB. They completed laboratory sessions and provided data on the PK of alcohol and the extent to which alcohol was reinforcing to them at each timepoint. Results: Findings show that the PK effects of alcohol (P < .01) and how rewarding alcohol was reported to be (P < .01) changed from before to 1 year after weight loss surgery. Further, statistically significant increases in the association between these variables were witnessed from before to 1 year after surgery (P < .01). Conclusion: These results implicate changes (from before surgery to one year after) in the reinforcing and PK effects of alcohol as possible mechanisms for increased risk of alcohol use disorder following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-195
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – NIAAA ( R01AA022336 ) from the National Institutes of Health and also from a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences – NIGMS ( P30 GM114748 ) from the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society for Bariatric Surgery

Keywords

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Reinforcement
  • Reward
  • Weight loss surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The rewarding effects of alcohol after bariatric surgery: do they change and are they associated with pharmacokinetic changes?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this