Navigation Links
UVA researchers uncover gene's role in severity of drinking
Date:2/4/2009

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb. 3, 2009 New research from the University of Virginia Health System could help explain why some alcoholics are more severe drinkers than others. A UVA team has found strong evidence that the serotonin transporter gene, SLC6A4, plays a significant role in influencing drinking intensity among alcohol-dependent individuals.

The study, published in the February 2009 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, analyzed the associations between six different DNA sequence variations, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, of the serotonin transporter gene with the levels of drinking intensity among 275 alcohol-dependent individuals seeking treatment. Drinking intensity is measured by the amount a person consumes each day he or she drinks.

"Of the six variants examined in the study, we found that one variant at the 3' end of the gene showed a significant association with drinking intensity," says study co-author Ming D. Li, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences in the UVA School of Medicine. "Specifically, we found that individuals with the 'G' allele of this variant drink less than individuals with the 'T' allele."

Previous studies have shown that the neurochemical serotonin mediates the rewarding effects of alcohol and, therefore, may be a key contributor leading to alcohol abuse. Studies also show that the brain's serotonin system plays an important role in alcohol preference and consumption.

"Acute drinking increases serotonin release and signaling in brain regions involved in controlling consumption of alcohol," explains study co-author Professor Bankole Johnson, D.Sc., M.D., Ph.D., M.Phil., FRCPsych., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences in the UVA School of Medicine. "But chronic drinking reduces serotonergic function, leading to a serotonin-deficient state. One hypothesis is that alcoholics drink to alleviate this serotonin-deficient state.

"But it's important to remember that alcoholics differ significantly in their drinking patterns, social backgrounds and disease etiology," says Johnson. "All of these factors may affect both treatment outcomes and medical complications resulting from heavy drinking."

One of the main goals of treatment, Johnson points out, is to reduce the intensity of drinking. "A known genetic marker could be used to sub-type alcoholics and better determine treatment methods that can target specific underlying molecular mechanisms. We hope to determine whether this particular genetic variant can be used as a marker to predict treatment outcomes for different serotonin agents," says Johnson.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sally H. Jones
shj3q@virginia.edu
434-981-0731
University of Virginia Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
3. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
4. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
5. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
6. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
7. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
8. Majority of 2.4 Million U.S. Children With ADHD Not Diagnosed or Consistently Treated, According to New Gold Standard Study by Cincinnati Childrens Researchers
9. Researchers develop long-lasting growth hormone
10. Jefferson immunology researchers halt lethal rabies infection in brain
11. Purdue researchers develop technology to detect cancer by scanning surface veins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... They are musicians ... sisters and wives, brothers and fathers, from New England and around the nation. What ... stigma, and are brought together in a beautiful and compelling new photographic exhibit debuting ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... financial consultation services from offices located in South Lyon, Dewitt, Williamston, East Lansing, ... a basketball coach who needs treatment for a brain tumor. , Jason Bauer ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... One ... regular changing of the securement tape is painful for her. "This is why the ... to patients’ heads," she said. , They then created a prototype of the patent-pending ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... OCTOBER XX, 2016 (PRWEB) (PRWEB) December 07, 2016 , ... ... “Canine Filamentous Dermatitis Associated with Borrelia Infection” reveals that a condition ... in the prestigious Journal of Veterinary Science & Medical Diagnosis. , Morgellons disease ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Facial plastic surgeon, Dr. John ... by donating a portion of proceeds to two local organizations: North Chicago Animal Control ... & Friends is a team of authorized and trained volunteers who support rescued ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... 2016 Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) ... Global Markets Direct,s latest Pharmaceutical and ... (HoFH) – Pipeline Review, H2 2016, provides ... (HoFH) (Metabolic Disorders) pipeline landscape. Homozygous ... is caused due to mutation from both ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... LONDON , Dec. 6, 2016 ... report provides in-depth region wise and country wise ... this report include manufacturers of human vaccines products, ... players planning to enter the market. The ... global human vaccines market. Qualitative analysis comprises market ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  Nearly 30 million people ... from the epidemic of diabetes. 1 However, nearly ... elevated glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and significant glucose variability. 2 ... complications, including cardiovascular events. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can ... eye disease or blindness. 3 As ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: