- Advise patients who ask that many different genetic regions appear to be linked to vulnerability to alcohol(Drug information on alcohol) dependence.
- Note that in this study, 51 genetic loci were significantly different between the genomes of people with alcohol dependence and normal controls, suggesting how alcoholism runs in families.
BALTIMORE, Aug. 29 -- No one ever called alcoholism a simple disease. Now a genome-wide analysis has found 51 genetic regions that appear to be linked to it.
The alcoholism analysis -- the first involving a comprehensive scan of the human genome -- implicates genes involved in cell signaling, gene regulation, and development, among other things, according to George Uhl, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Some of the regions found by what's called association genome scanning had been previously linked to alcoholism and others are known to be related to other forms of addiction, Dr. Uhl and colleagues reported in the December issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B.
The study "begins to herald the era of polygenic risk variation genetics, rather than disease causation," Dr. Uhl said.