Digital Public Defence: Susmita Pandey

MSc Susmita Pandey at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Sex-specific factors associated with neurobiological mechanisms, comorbidities, treatment adherence, and suicidal behavior among AUD inpatients under rehabilitative treatment in Norway.” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Vivek Pant

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Marcin Wojnar, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Second opponent: Senior Consultant Jon Johnsen, Blakstad Hospital
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Ingrid Melle, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Linda Elise Couëssurel Wüsthoff, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Jørgen G. Bramness, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a prominent public health issue. Heterogeneity among the patients with AUD makes its management even more challenging. Sex is an important biological factor contributing to the variations in the development and maintenance of AUD. Sex-related variations are also reported in disorders comorbid with AUD and in AUD-related outcomes, such as relapse and drop-out from alcohol treatment and negative life consequences, including suicidal behavior.

This doctoral thesis aimed to explore the sex-specific factors associated with neurobiological mechanisms, comorbidity, treatment adherence, and suicidal behavior in AUD patients.

Through an observational study conducted on AUD patients receiving rehabilitative services at three different residential in Norway, we obtained information on patients’ background, alcohol use, and mental health. In addition, the patients were assessed for alcohol use-related biomarkers.

We found that factors associated with the level of prolactin, a marker reflecting the neurobiological mechanism involved in AUD, were sex specific. Alcohol use trait-related factors, including age at alcohol debut, level of response to early alcohol use, and history of a parental drinking problem, were associated with the level of prolactin in the female AUD patients but not among males.

Similarly, antisocial personality disorder, which is a common comorbidity in AUD, was detected only among males, and relapse or drop-out in these patients were related to severe traumatic experiences and a higher biological drive to drinking.

In addition, although mental health-related factors were related to suicide attempts among both male and female AUD patients with a seemingly higher effect among the females, alcohol use-related factors were related to suicide attempts only among males.

These findings underline the need to consider sex differences while planning preventive, curative, and rehabilitative programs for AUD management.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Apr. 27, 2022 12:24 PM - Last modified May 9, 2022 12:36 PM