Recent advances in genetic studies of alcohol use disorders PMC

The study also included a large sample of control families that were randomly selected from the community. For the analyses, the researchers chose a split-sample design—two groups of subjects (i.e., an initial sample and a replication sample) were analyzed independently; this approach allows investigators Genetics of Alcoholism to examine the reproducibility of the initial study findings. Vrieze et al. (2013) found that, in biometric twin models, behavioral inhibition was highly genetically correlated with all substance use traits (nicotine use/dependence, alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, and drug use).

In the 4th edition of the DSM (DSM-IV), alcohol dependence (AD) and abuse were considered as mutually exclusive diagnoses that together made up AUDs. DSM-V[14, 15] on the other hand consolidated AD and abuse as a single disorder as AUD[15],[16]. By considering AD and abuse under single umbrella increased the number of diagnosed subjects, but this number was still not large enough to design powerful GWAS studies. Therefore, many genetic studies of alcoholism also concentrated on nonclinical phenotypes, such as alcohol consumption and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)[17–19], from large population based cohorts. The AUDIT, a 10-item, self-reported test was developed by the World Health Organization as a screen for hazardous and harmful drinking and can be used as a total (AUDIT-T), AUDIT-Consumption (AUDIT-C) and AUDIT-Problems (AUDIT-P) sub-scores. There are several other genes that have been shown to contribute to the risk
of alcohol dependence as well as key endophenotypes.

Understanding Genetics

Their mission is not just to understand the genetics of alcohol use disorder but also to provide resources and support for those struggling with substance abuse. While the terms “genetic” and “hereditary” are sometimes used interchangeably, Resurgence Behavioral Health clarifies the distinction. Hereditary alcoholism specifically refers to the passing down of alcoholism from one generation to another through genes.

The strongest evidence was for regions on chromosomes 1 and 7, with more modest evidence for a region on chromosome 2. The DNA regions identified through these analyses were broad, as is typical for studies of complex genetic diseases, and therefore are likely to contain numerous genes. Much additional work is required to narrow the regions and attempt to determine which specific gene or genes play a role in affecting the risk for alcoholism. Therefore, additional markers within these regions of interest were analyzed in the same people.

GWAS of AUD and related traits

In many cases, the initial linkage studies were followed by more
detailed genetic analyses employing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were
genotyped at high density across the linked regions. Some of the genes identified
through this approach have been replicated across a number of studies and appear to
be robust genetic findings. To date, GWAS have
focused on common variants, with allele frequencies of 5% or higher. Most GWAS are case-control studies or studies of quantitative traits in
unrelated subjects, but family-based GWAS provide another approach. GWAS are
beginning to yield robust findings, although the experience in many diseases is
that very large numbers of subjects will be needed.

  • A growing body of literature on AUD genetics will improve both the understanding of at-risk individuals’ biology and the development of new medications.
  • Because of the complexity of the risk factors for alcoholism and of the disorder itself, the COGA project was designed to gather extensive data from the participants.
  • As whole exome and whole genome sequencing
    technologies come down in cost, they are being applied to identifying rare
  • Accumulation of the toxic intermediate acetaldehyde can cause adverse physiological symptoms, including flushing syndrome, tachycardia, and nausea.
  • Instead, the awareness should prod you to protect yourself from the damage that alcohol could bring to your life and health.
  • Thus it is not surprising that diseases of the GI system,
    including cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and cancers of the upper GI tract are affected by
    alcohol consumption80-86.

Genes are made up of DNA, the hereditary material that’s inherited from parents. Data suggests that individuals hailing from families with an annual household income surpassing $75,000 face a higher susceptibility to becoming an alcoholic in comparison to their counterparts from economically modest backgrounds. Our genes determine our physical traits and, to some extent, our behavioral characteristics.

Genetical Sensitivities to Alcohol

There’s scientific research has unveiled that genetics do play a significant role in the predisposition to alcoholism. Studies involving families, twins, and adopted individuals suggest a hereditary component that contributes to vulnerability. Resurgence Behavioral Health acknowledges that genetic factors can influence an individual’s susceptibility to alcohol addiction. GCTA/GREML, or GCTA, is a statistical method which estimates variance in genetics by quantifying the chance genetic similarity of individuals and comparing their similarity in trait measurements.

An additional challenge in the search for genetic variants that affect
the risk for AUDs is that there is extensive clinical heterogeneity among those
meeting criteria. Because the diagnosis of an AUD requires the presence of a set of
symptoms from a checklist, there are many different ways one could meet the
criteria. There are 35 different ways one could pick 3 criteria from 7 (DSM-IV
alcohol dependence) and 330 ways to pick 4 from 11 (DSM-5 severe AUD).

Alcohol Misuse Is Influenced by Environmental and Genetic Factors

Environmental factors, as well as gene and environment interactions account for the remainder of the risk. The causes of AUD are complex and can involve a variety of factors, including early exposure to alcohol use, peer group pressure, and living with other mental health conditions. While genetics can play a significant role in your overall AUD risk assessment, it isn’t the only factor that can elevate your chances of developing AUD. Living in a household where you’re regularly exposed to parental alcohol use can also increase your chances of AUD, regardless of your genetic predisposition. Your genetics can influence how likely you are to develop AUD, but there’s currently no evidence of a specific gene that directly causes AUD once you start drinking. If a person experiences any 2 to 3 symptoms, he or she will be diagnosed with mild alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol dependence, psychiatric disorders share genetic links – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Alcohol dependence, psychiatric disorders share genetic links – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Posted: Mon, 26 Nov 2018 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Leave a Reply