Sandra M. Villafuerte

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Personality traits are summarized by five broad dimensions with pervasive influences on major life outcomes, strong links to psychiatric disorders and clear heritable components. To identify genetic variants associated with each of the five dimensions of personality we performed a genome-wide association (GWA) scan of 3972 individuals from a genetically(More)
Genetic factors, externalizing personality traits such as impulsivity, and brain processing of salient stimuli all can affect individual risk for alcoholism. One of very few confirmed genetic association findings differentiating alcoholics from non-alcoholics is with variants in the inhibitory γ-amino butyric acid α2 receptor subunit (GABRA2) gene. Here we(More)
BACKGROUND A tendency to experience negative affect, as measured by the neuroticism component of the Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI), is a trait marker for major depression. Epidemiologic studies indicate a strong genetic component, but to date few specific genetic variants have been definitively implicated. A(More)
BACKGROUND Recent research suggests that central corticotropin releasing hormone hyperdrive is an important neurobiological risk factor for developing major depression. The availability of free corticotropin releasing hormone in the central nervous system is tightly regulated by the expression of corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein. Therefore,(More)
Genetic variants in GABRA2 have previously been shown to be associated with alcohol measures, electroencephalography (EEG) β waves and impulsiveness-related traits. Impulsiveness is a behavioral risk factor for alcohol and other substance abuse. Here, we tested association between 11 variants in GABRA2 with NEO-impulsiveness and problem drinking. Our sample(More)
Heightened reactivity of the incentive-motivation system has been proposed to underlie adolescent-typical risky behaviors, including problem alcohol involvement. However, even in adolescence considerable individual variation in these behaviors exists, which may have genetic underpinnings and be related to variations in risk for later alcohol use disorder(More)
OBJECTIVES Desensitization of serotonin 1A (HTR1A) and 1B (HTR1B) autoreceptors has been proposed to be involved in the delayed onset of response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Variations in gene expression in these genes may thus affect SSRI response. METHODS Here, we test this hypothesis in two samples from the Sequenced Treatment(More)
BACKGROUND This study's primary aim was to examine age-specific associations between GABRA2, rule breaking, problematic alcohol use, and substance abuse symptomatology. The secondary aim was to examine the extent to which rule breaking mediates the GABRA2-substance abuse relationship. METHODS A sample (n = 518) of primarily male (70.9%) and White (88.8%)(More)
Several independent studies have supported the association of DYX1C1 with dyslexia, but its role in general reading development remains unclear. Here, we investigated the contribution of this gene to reading, with a focus on orthographic skills, in a sample of 284 unrelated Chinese children aged 5 to 11 years who were participating in the Chinese(More)
Emotion-cognition interactions are critical in goal-directed behavior and may be disrupted in psychopathology. Growing evidence also suggests that emotion-cognition interactions are modulated by genetic variation, including genetic variation in the serotonin system. The goal of the current study was to examine the impact of threat-related distracters and(More)