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Type: Journal article
Title: The genetics of alcoholism
Author: Stacey, D.A.
Clarke, T.K.
Schumann, G.
Citation: Current Psychiatry Reports, 2009; 11(5):364-369
Publisher: Current Medicine Group
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1523-3812
Statement of
David Stacey, Toni-Kim Clarke and Gunter Schumann
Abstract: Heritability estimates for alcoholism range from 50% to 60%, pointing out the importance of genetic and environmental factors in its etiology. This review highlights recent advances in translational work investigating genetic influences on alcoholism. We focus on genetic research involving corticotropin-releasing factor, glutamatergic, and opioidergic systems. Variation in the CRF1 receptor gene has been shown to moderate stress-induced alcohol drinking (gene-environment interaction) in animals, and this finding was recently extended to humans. Also, the hyperglutamatergic state, first observed during withdrawal from chronic alcohol exposure in animal models, is associated with aversive and dysphoric states in alcoholics. Pharmacogenetic studies of naltrexone efficacy are in the clinical stages, and recent studies confirmed a differential response dependent on the μ-opioid receptor genotype. Such advances will be essential for the effective treatment of alcoholism in the future.
Keywords: Animals
Disease Models, Animal
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
Receptors, Opioid, mu
Excitatory Amino Acids
Narcotic Antagonists
Stress, Psychological
Social Environment
Rights: Copyright © 2009 by Current Medicine Group LLC
DOI: 10.1007/s11920-009-0055-4
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Psychiatry publications

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