Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center
Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research
McLean Imaging Center
Clinical Unit Based Research
Mailman Research Center
Shervert H. Frazier Research Institute
Clinical Trials
Inventions for License
Research News


MCL 154.0: In vitro Proton MRS Detection of Frequency and Amount of Alcohol Self-Administration

Jack Mendelson, M.D., et al.

Background and Description

In vitro proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy is employed to determine the measurable ethanol concentrations in ethanol-treated erythrocyte samples of occasional and heavy drinkers. An erythrocyte to plasma ethanol concentration ratio is determined based upon the MRS measured erythrocyte concentration. These ratios are significantly greater for heavy drinkers (a subset of alcohol tolerant individuals) as compared to the ratios calculated for occasional drinkers (non-tolerant individuals). Thus, this invention provides a non-invasive, in vitro method for discriminating between alcohol tolerant individuals and alcohol non-tolerant individuals.

Potential Commercial Uses

A need exists for a routine, non-invasive screening method for objectively discriminating between individuals who are alcohol tolerant individuals (frequently consume alcohol) and alcohol non-tolerant (occasional drinkers) individuals. Although in vivo methods using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) exist, many hospitals are not equipped with the necessary facilities to perform in vivo brain MRS imaging. Using current in vivo methods requires administration of ethanol to the subject. The present invention therefore provides an in vitro, non-invasive method not requiring large capital equipment and not requiring the subject to drink alcohol.

Publication and Patent Status

McLean Hospital is the owner of an issued U.S. patent, US Patent No. 5,866,427, claiming this invention. Patent applications are also pending in Canada and Europe. (USPTO # 5,866,427)

Licenses Available

McLean Hospital is offering a worldwide exclusive license to this technology.

For more information, please contact:

Anne Ritter, Licensing Manager
Partners Research Ventures and Licensing
(617) 954-9529