930 genes associated with alcoholism identified

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Plazma Inferno!, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    One of the best predictors of alcoholism in humans is the drinking behavior of their families. But to what extent this link can be chalked up to inherited genetics - versus a shared environment - has been poorly understood.
    To gain insights into genes that contribute to alcoholism, Purdue and Indiana University researchers used a model based on rats, mammals with which we share a majority of genes. Beginning with a population of genetically diverse rats, researchers bred two lines: one group that displayed classic clinical signs of alcoholism and another that completely abstained from alcohol.
    By comparing the genomes of rats that drank compulsively with those that abstained, researchers identified 930 genes associated with alcoholism, indicating that it is a highly complex trait - on par with human height - influenced by many genes and the environment.
    The study confirmed genes previously identified as being linked to alcoholism and uncovered new genes and neurological pathways, some of which could be promising targets for treatment. But the sheer number of genes that contribute to the trait suggests pharmaceutical treatments for alcoholism could be difficult to develop.


    Study: http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006178

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