Hypoglycemic States May Result in Violent Crimes Associated with Alcohol

Hypoglycemic States May Result in Violent Crimes Associated with Alcohol

Alcohol is commonly connected with violent crimes; in Finland, 80 percent of violent crimes such as homicides are associated with alcohol intoxication. However, until now, it hasn’t been clear why only some people become aggressive or commit severe crimes under the influence of alcohol.

In an 8-year follow-up study, Finnish researchers found that low levels of glycogen (non-oxidative glucose metabolism) predict future violent offenses among antisocial males who have committed violent crimes. “Usually, the new violent crimes happened already during 1-2 years after the release from prisons and with the new starting problems of alcoholism,” said Professor Matti Virkkunen, the corresponding author of the study.

Glucose metabolism was measured among 49 violent males who were also antisocial and impulsive. The 17 offenders who committed at least one new violent crime during the 8 years had lower levels of glycogen than 40 normal male controls and those who did not commit another crime. All offenders and controls were around the same age and of similar weight and BMI (basal metabolic index).

This suggests that new violent crimes happen among intoxicated people when they have very low amounts of glycogen in the liver. In addition, substances that increase the formation of glycogen and decrease the risk of hypoglycemia might be potential treatments for impulsive violent behavior.

Source: Science Daily, Glucose Metabolism and Recidivism of Severe Violent Crimes in Alcohol Intoxications, June 3, 2009

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