Honors Theses


Tracy R. Butler, Ph.D.



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Honors Thesis


The purpose of this study was to understand relapse behavior through a pre-clinical rodent model of relapse which models the important aspects of the human addiction and relapse condition, called the alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) model. It has been found to model alcohol addiction and relapse in rats and can therefore allow for further understanding of relapse behavior as well as allow for testing of the effects of various variables like stress or therapeutic drugs on relapse behavior. The model gives rats baseline access to ethanol and then allows them access to only water, called deprivation periods, and then gives them reaccess to the ethanol, called re-access periods or ADE periods. There are repeated cycles of deprivation and re-access periods which has been shown to lead to relapse-like drinking behaviors upon re-access to the ethanol characterized by drinking significantly more ethanol (g/kg) in the re-access periods when compared to the rats’ baseline ethanol intake. This investigation looked at the effectiveness of the ADE model in adolescent male, adult male, and adult female Long Evans rats by allowing the rats access to ethanol for a baseline period and then having three repeated cycles of deprivation and re-access periods. It was found that only the adult female Long Evans rats exhibited a significant ADE. These results differ from previously found patterns in adult male Long Evans rats which have been shown in other studies to display a robust ADE.

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Undergraduate research



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