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Genetic trait could triple odds of whites' susceptibility to heavy cocaine abuse
Date:12/21/2010

risk could occur just as often by chance.

Sadee noted that more research is needed to collect enough evidence to merit a warning to people who might be at higher risk for sensitivity to cocaine. "But this work is pointing in the right direction. There is very little in the genetics literature that points as strongly to a specific problem as this paper does," he said.

No test currently exists for these polymorphisms. Sadee said the scientific community wants to ensure that all SNPs that are considered potential biomarkers for genetic traits must first be carefully vetted to ensure there is ample evidence of risks or benefits associated with each mutation before testing is available.

Because the dopamine receptor D2 is a primary target for nearly all antipsychotic drugs, Sadee and colleagues are now investigating how these mutations might affect carriers' response to drugs that act on this gene.

"We now have found that this gene contains frequent variants that affect some fundamental behavior. There are a few other genes that do, too. Now we want to look at how those genes interact," Sadee said. "On top of that, in some psychiatric disorders there are treatments that depend on the dopaminergic system, and only 50 percent are effective. So now the question becomes, would these SNPs, together with another gene, predict whether or not somebody responds to these treatments or becomes worse?"


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Contact: Wolfgang Sadee
wolfgang.sadee@osumc.edu
614-292-1597
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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