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Study IDs new genetic links to impulsivity, alcohol problems in men
Date:11/16/2011

ays from specific genes to health-risk behaviors," he said.

The researchers were interested in impulsivity because the trait can predispose people to any number of behavioral problems -- addictions, behavior control, failing to plan ahead or think through consequences of actions -- and settled on the role of NXRN3 from previous, recent studies.

While the results add important new evidence to the genetic role in impulsivity and, in turn, its role in substance abuse, researchers were careful to not claim a perfect cause-and-effect relationship. Impulsivity may interact with sensitivity to alcohol, for one example, or anxiety, for another, to create complex pathways to substance use problems in both men and women.

"If you're working to explain how genes are associated with something like (substance) dependence, you have to connect a lot of dots," Stoltenberg said. "There's a big gap between genes and a substance use disorder. Impulsivity is one factor to such problems -- not the only factor."


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Contact: Scott Stoltenberg
sstoltenberg2@unl.edu
402-472-7861
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Source:Eurekalert

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