Relationship between alcohol and genetics

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relationship between alcohol and genetics

The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) seeks to identify genes contributing to alcoholism and related traits (i.e., phenotypes), including. A person with a genetic disease has an abnormality in their genome; While children of alcoholics have a twofold to fourfold increased chance. The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) seeks to Various possible relationships between alcoholism and affective disorders have been.

Having a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who struggles with alcohol use disorder increases the chances that a person will also struggle with the same addiction. While genetics and heredity are closely linked — because parents pass their genes down to their children, so children inherit the genes —from a medical perspective, there are some differences when discussing genetic versus hereditary diseases.

When scientists debate whether alcohol use disorder is hereditary or genetic, they debate whether the condition stems from a larger set of genes that are passed down or the disease stems from mutations in some genes.

Is there a genetic relationship between alcoholism and depression?

Alcoholism is a serious problem in the United States. One estimate suggests that as many as 18 million adults in the country struggle with alcohol use disorder; that is one in 12 individuals. Aroundpeople die every year because of alcoholism, including deaths due to cirrhosis and other organ damage.

Chronic heavy drinking also increases the risk of kidney disease, diabetes, and several cancers. How Genes Contribute to Alcoholism Genetics are 50 percent of the underlying reason for alcohol use disorder.

If a person is predisposed to metabolize alcohol in such a way that the pleasurable effects are more prominent than feeling nauseous, overheating, or experiencing mood swings, the person may be more likely to develop alcohol use disorder. The study concluded that genetic factors account for percent of the variance among people who struggle with alcohol use disorder.

Since then, some specific genes that contribute to alcohol use disorder have been found, and they correlate with the development of the reward centers in the brain. The phenotypic expression of genes is complex, however.

The Role of Genetics in Alcoholism

For example, a person may have one parent with blue eyes and one parent with brown eyes, so they have genes for both eye colors, but only one eye color will be expressed. Strong genes are the exception to the rule, and a gene responsible for the movement of gamma-aminobutyric acid GABA in synapses between neurons appears to be a strong gene associated with a higher risk of alcoholism.

It is still unknown how, precisely, this genetic sequence can ultimately influence the outcome for a person. Genes that influence alcoholism may be expressed in various ways.

  • Is Alcoholism Hereditary or Genetic?

People who have a family history of alcoholism have, in some studies, been shown to have a smaller than average amygdala. This is the part of the brain that likely plays a role in the emotions associated with cravings. People who have a genetic predisposition to alcohol use disorder may experience fewer or different warning signals from their brain or body when they need to stop drinking.

relationship between alcohol and genetics

Serotonin is one of the most important mood-regulating neurotransmitters and closely associated with depression. Unusual levels of serotonin have also been associated with people who are genetically predisposed to alcohol use disorder.

Heredity and Alcoholism While children of alcoholics have a twofold to fourfold increased chance of struggling with alcohol abuse later in life, a survey in found that fewer than half of them actually developed alcohol use disorder. The findings summarized in this article suggest a genetic relationship between depression and alcohol dependence in some families where both disorders are transmitted.

Alcohol Consumption and Genetics

This conclusion is consistent with the idea that depression can be caused by many different genes i. However, they do reinforce the idea that some heavy drinkers may have genetic vulnerability to depression, as well as the observation that treatment of depressed alcoholic patients with antidepressants has generally had beneficial effects on the depression, and sometimes on the drinking as well McGrath et al.

In the future, genetic studies are likely to contribute to clinical treatment by identifying specific genes and their biochemical pathways, which could result in new therapeutic options for patient subgroups. The major advantage of the COGA study is its multisite design with similar methods employed at each site, which allowed the investigators to generate very large data sets.

relationship between alcohol and genetics

One limitation of the study is that by design it focused on families densely affected with alcohol dependence for linkage analysis although all families of alcoholic probands are included in the prevalence studies. Although such families are ideal for genetic studies, they may not be fully representative of the spectrum of people who suffer from alcoholism, depression, or both.

Reich, Washington University, is co—principal investigator. The study sites and their principal investigators and co—investigators are: Edenberg ; University of Iowa R. Schuckit ; University of Connecticut V. Begleiter ; Washington University in St.

Is there a genetic relationship between alcoholism and depression?

Goate ; Howard University R. Taylor ; Rutgers University J. Tischfield ; and Southwest Foundation L. A new, semi—structured psychiatric interview for use in genetic linkage studies: Journal of Studies on Alcohol 55 2: Diagnostic criteria for use in psychiatric research.

Alcohol Consumption and Genetics

Archives of General Psychiatry Confirmation studies in a replicate sample and further mapping. Clinical and Experimental Research 24 7: Alcoholism and major depression in women. Current concepts in the treatment of depression in alcohol—dependent patients. Psychiatric Clinics of North America 23 4: Comorbidity for alcoholism and depression.

Psychiatric Clinics of North America 3: Comorbidity and co—transmission of alcoholism, anxiety, and depression. Evidence for a locus on chromosome 1 that influences vulnerability to alcoholism and affective disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 5: Combining Sources of Diagnostic Information.

Genome—wide search for genes affecting the risk for alcohol dependence.

relationship between alcohol and genetics

Chromosomes 1, 6, 8, 10 and Genetic subtypes of unipolar primary depressive illness distinguished by hypothalmic pituitary adrenal axis activity. Problems of replicating linkage claims in psychiatry.