Author(s): Changhai Cui
Recent studies have provided clear evidence on the role of neural-immune interactions in normal brain function and neuropathological conditions. Neuroimmune factors, which play an essential role in neuroinflammatory response, have been implicated in the regulation of neuronal function and plasticity. Thus, neural-immune interactions provide a new frame work for understanding the role of the neuroimmune system in normal brain function, neurodevelopment, and a variety of neurological disorders. These advances have a far reaching impact on many areas of neuroscience, including alcohol research. Studies using human alcoholic brains, gene knockout mice, and gene expression profiling have established a clear link between alcoholism and an altered neuroimmune profile. This book integrates emerging knowledge on neural-immune interactions with key discoveries in alcohol research and provides a comprehensive overview of neural-immune interactions in brain function and behavior associated with alcohol use disorders. While Neural-Immune Interaction in Brain Function and Alcohol Related Disorders focuses on neural-immune interactions in areas directly related to alcohol use disorders, it is not intended to be all inclusive. Several areas, including sleep disorders, pain, and cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathways, are not covered as independent chapters but briefly mentioned in the text. The close relevance of these topics to neural-immune interactions and alcohol use disorders warrants future discussion and more research efforts.