The genetics of alcohol dependence

  title={The genetics of alcohol dependence},
  author={Danielle M. Dick and Laura J. Bierut},
  journal={Current Psychiatry Reports},
Alcohol dependence is a common, complex disorder, which affects millions of people worldwide and causes considerable burden in terms of interpersonal and societal costs. Family, twin, and adoption studies have convincingly demonstrated that genes play an important role in the development of alcohol dependence, with heritability estimates in the range of 50% to 60% for both men and women. A number of studies are under way to identify specific genes involved in the predisposition toward alcohol… 
The genetics of alcoholism
This review highlights recent advances in translational work investigating genetic influences on alcoholism, focusing on genetic research involving corticotropin-releasing factor, glutamatergic, and opioidergic systems.
Genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence.
This is the first GWAS and follow-up study to identify a genome-wide significant association in alcohol dependence and nine SNPs were located in genes that have been reported to be associated with alcohol dependence, including the CDH13 and ADH1C genes.
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This review summarizes insights from model organisms as well as human populations that represent the current understanding of the genetic and genomic underpinnings that govern alcohol metabolism and the sedative and addictive effects of alcohol on the nervous system.
GABAA receptor polymorphisms in alcohol use disorder in the GWAS era
In this critical review, relevant genetic terms and type and methodology of the genetic studies are briefly explained, and proposed candidate genes that encode subunits of GABAA receptors, with all the reported SNPs, are presented.
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The genetics of addiction—a translational perspective
There is a need for a multi-method translational approach to genetic studies of these important conditions, including both licit and illicit drug addictions and the behavioral addiction of disordered gambling.
Substance dependence low-density whole genome association study in two distinct American populations
This study provides an initial substance dependence trait-specific blueprint of associated regions for future candidate gene studies and rankings were ranked according to several criteria including statistical significance, concordance of results across population samples, and potential biological relevance of the implicated gene.
Genetic Markers Related to Alcohol Use and Abuse


The Behavioral Genetics of Alcoholism
This work states that twin and adoption studies consistently implicate the importance of genetic influences on alcoholism risk, especially in men, and proposesotype-environment interaction models, which posit that alcoholism occurs when individuals both inherit a vulnerability to develop alcoholism and are reared in a provocative environment.
Allelic and haplotypic association of GABRA2 with alcohol dependence
Ten single nucleotide polymorphisms spanning the coding region of this gene were examined in samples of European American subjects with alcohol dependence, and controls screened to exclude substance use disorders, which underscore the potential contribution of polymorphic variation at the GABRA2 locus to the risk for alcohol dependence.
The Role of GABRA2 in Risk for Conduct Disorder and Alcohol and Drug Dependence across Developmental Stages
In a sample of children and adolescents ascertained as part of the COGA project, it is found that GABRA2 is significantly associated with childhood conduct disorder symptoms, but not with childhood alcohol dependence symptoms.
Association between the serotonin transporter gene and alcohol consumption in social drinkers
The results replicate recent previous findings and suggest a possibility that this association may differ in men and women, as well as suggestive evidence of a genotype–sex interaction.
Genomic screen for loci associated with alcohol dependence in Mission Indians
Results corroborate the importance of several chromosomal regions highlighted in prior segregation studies in alcoholism and further identify new regions of the genome that may be unique to either the restricted phenotypes evaluated or this population of Mission Indians.
Marital status, alcohol dependence, and GABRA2: evidence for gene-environment correlation and interaction.
How this genetic risk factor interacts with marital status, another factor previously shown to be associated with the risk for alcohol dependence, is explored to illustrate the complex pathways by which genotype and environmental risk factors act and interact to influence alcohol dependence and challenge traditional conceptualizations of "environmental" risk factors.
CHRM2 gene predisposes to alcohol dependence, drug dependence and affective disorders: results from an extended case-control structured association study.
It is concluded that variation in CHRM2 predisposes to AD, DD and affective disorders, and one haplotype block within the 5'-UTR of CH RM2 may be more important for the development of these disorders than other regions.
Genetic Strategies to Detect Genes Involved in Alcoholism and Alcohol-Related Traits
  • D. Dick, T. Foroud
  • Medicine
    Alcohol research & health : the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
  • 2002
Researchers are using a variety of sophisticated approaches to identify genes that contribute to the development of alcoholism in humans or influence other alcohol-related traits, which are likely to have implications for fields such as genetic counseling, gene therapy, and pharmacogenetics.
Alcoholism and alleles of the human D2 dopamine receptor locus. Studies of association and linkage.
There was no evidence of linkage or cosegregation of the A1 allele and increased susceptibility to alcoholism in informative pedigrees, and the possible association in the general population without linkage in families may be explained by chance variation in small samples or a modifying effect of theA1 allele that increases severity.
Polysubstance abuse-vulnerability genes: genome scans for association, using 1,004 subjects and 1,494 single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
Positive chromosomal markers whose alleles distinguish drug abusers from control individuals in each of two samples are identified, on the basis of pooled-sample microarray and association analyses, and these data support polygenic contributions of common allelic variants to polysubstance abuse vulnerability.