Alanna C. Easton

Learn More
Alcohol consumption is a moderately heritable trait, but the genetic basis in humans is largely unknown, despite its clinical and societal importance. We report a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of ∼2.5 million directly genotyped or imputed SNPs with alcohol consumption (gram per day per kilogram body weight) among 12 population-based samples of(More)
Although addiction develops in a considerable number of regular cocaine users, molecular risk factors for cocaine dependence are still unknown. It was proposed that establishing drug use and memory formation might share molecular and anatomical pathways. Alpha-Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase-II (αCaMKII) is a key mediator of learning and memory(More)
The firing of mesolimbic dopamine neurons is important for drug-induced reinforcement, although underlying genetic factors remain poorly understood. In a recent genome-wide association metaanalysis of alcohol intake, we identified a suggestive association of SNP rs26907 in the ras-specific guanine-nucleotide releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene, encoding a(More)
The α-Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (αCaMKII) is a crucial enzyme controlling plasticity in the brain. The autophosphorylation of αCaMKII works as a 'molecular memory' for a transient calcium activation, thereby accelerating learning. We investigated the role of αCaMKII autophosphorylation in the establishment of alcohol drinking as an(More)
The autophosphorylation of alpha Ca2+ /calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (αCaMKII) is important for memory formation and is becoming increasingly implicated in the development of drug addiction. Previous work suggests that αCaMKII acts via the monoaminergic systems to facilitate the establishment of alcohol drinking behaviour. The present study aims to(More)
Autophosphorylation of αCaMKII is regarded as a 'molecular memory' for Ca(2+) transients and a crucial mechanism in aversely, but less so in appetitively, motivated learning and memory. While there is a growing body of research implicating αCaMKII in general in behavioral responses to threat or fearful stimuli, little is known about the contribution of the(More)
Psychoactive drug-induced cellular activation is a key mechanism to promote neuronal plasticity and addiction. Alpha Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (αCaMKII) and its autophosphorylation play a key role in the development of drug use associated behaviours. It has been suggested that αCaMKII autophosphorylation is necessary for drug-induced(More)
A study has been performed to evaluate the suitability of Vacutainer tubes in blood specimen collection for coagulation tests and to compare them with the conventional syringe technique employed in UK hospitals. Blood was collected from healthy volunteers, an ante-natal group and patients on long-term oral anticoagulants. Samples were stored at two(More)
The importance of the dopaminergic system for proper brain activity is demonstrated by findings that alterations in this system lead to severe disabilities, including motor impairment observed in various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Although the roles of specific dopamine receptors in behaviour have been extensively investigated using(More)
Alcohol addiction is a major psychiatric disease, and yet, the underlying molecular adaptations in the brain remain unclear. Recent evidence suggests a functional role for the ras-specific guanine-nucleotide releasing factor 2 (Rasgrf2) in alcoholism. Rasgrf2−/− mice consume less alcohol and show entirely absent dopamine responses to an alcohol challenge(More)