Barbara Gulanski2, Stuart Weinzimer3, Ismene Petrakis3,
1Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; 2Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine; 3Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine
Alcohol enters the metabolic pathway by converting first to aldehyde and then to acetate through respective enzymes. Drinking alcohol leads to elevated blood acetate levels. The objective of this study is to test whether heavy alcohol use can affect brain choice of energy sources, thereby providing insight to alcohol addiction and abuse. Using 2-13C-acetate as metabolic tracer, combining with in vivo localized 13C-magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we have found that heavy drinkers have elevated resting state plasma acetate concentration, as well as transport and metabolism of acetate in brain. Our results suggest that systematic available acetate may provide reward for drinking.