An analysis of the role of genetics and environment in causing alcoholism

Is There an Inherited Alcohol Gene That Can Cause Alcoholism in the Family?

Read more Alcoholics Anonymous and The Atlantic: Research conducted on twins and adopted children has shown the impact of genetics in relation to alcohol and drug dependence, and in recent years, researchers have identified numerous genes as affecting risk for dependence on alcohol and drugs.

They may drink in response to stressful factors in their environment, such as problems with their work or family. When there is too much acetaldehyde not readily metabolized into acetate, the person develops the flush reaction, which is uncomfortable.

Most governments regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol in some way, and this effectively regulates the environment in which people live.

Because alcohol changes how much GABA is available to the brain, inducing relaxation and relieving anxiety or stress, mutations in this area leading to less GABA production while sober may prompt a person to abuse alcohol to feel better the self-medication hypothesis.

However, environmental factors are still important - the same study found a ninefold increase in the odds of becoming an alcoholic given both a family history of alcoholism and an alcoholic foster-parent.

However, it is less likely that people will successfully abstain from alcohol or sex. People celebrate with alcohol, drink at sporting events, parties, and at home with dinner.

Genetics of Alcoholism

Last modified onSaturday, 25 April In so doing, signals or pathways in the brain may be modified or stabilized to restore proper brain function. If it turns out that the environment is more important than genetics in causing addiction to alcohol, the best way to deal with this problem would be to regulate the environment.

Genes and Addiction

Mice mutated with a defective Per2 gene drink three times more alcohol than normal. The interplay between genetics and environment is complex. Dopamine is integral to the reward pathways inside the brain, and when a particular activity causes dopamine to be released then people feel good and wish to repeat that activity.

Environmental Factors in Addiction

Like most other diseases, addiction vulnerability is a very complex trait. Remember, environment makes up a large part of addiction risk.

Family History and Genetics

These genetic influences could make them more likely to become addicted to alcohol, cocaine, tobacco, gambling, or any number of substances or activities. The environment in which someone grows up is important, as is the environment in which they live as adults.

Some genetic factors may make someone more likely to become addicted to only one specific drug. These genes are passed on to us by our parents.

By avoiding addictive substances and situations in which they are available, people can reduce the risk that they will become addicted. Based on research using mice, the team then found these genes in groups of humans.

For example, someone may feel sick from a drug that makes other people feel good. Identifying these genes is difficult because each plays a small role in a much larger picture. People with the beta-Klotho gene appear to be able to control their drinking, usually consuming one or two drinks and then successfully stopping.

They could be predisposed to keep returning to activities that they find pleasurable, despite what they may know of the potential for harmful side-effects. Mental illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia, are more common in people with a family history of these disorders. If genetics plays the more important role, it could be more effective to focus on treatments that deal directly with the genes involved in addiction.Understanding the role of genetic variation in addiction genes can also help inform treatments.

The effectiveness of medications vary from person to person, depending on their genetic make-up. In the future, genetic tests could be used to determine which medications are likely to be most effective based on an individual’s genetic profile.

Causes of Alcoholism

NIAAA has funded the Collaborative Studies on Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) sincewith the goal of identifying the specific genes that influence alcohol use disorder.

In addition, NIAAA funds investigators’ research in this important field, and also has an in-house research emphasis on the interaction of genes and the environment. Genetics of Alcoholism Howard J. Edenberg Multiple genes, each with small effect Environmental variability Gene-gene interactions Gene-environment interactions.

*among top in our early onset analysis. Edenberg Pathway analysis. Ingenuity Canonical Pathways pvalue. Environmental Factors in Addiction But we also found an important role for environmental factors. If you have an adoptive sibling — with whom you have no genetic relationship — develop drug abuse, that also doubles your risk for drug abuse.” Adoption Model Used to Understand The Impact of Genetics and Environment On.

If it turns out that the environment is more important than genetics in causing addiction to alcohol, the best way to deal with this problem would be to regulate the environment.

If the environment plays an important role in addiction to alcohol, rehabilitation programs and other interventions can then play an important role in recovery.

Causes of Alcoholism. Multiple biological and psychosocial factors mutually influence each other in causing alcoholism. It usually develops slowly over a course of 5 to 15 years of heavy drinking.

Some genes, also, may only increase the risk of alcoholism when certain environmental factors are also present. For example, the Taq1.

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An analysis of the role of genetics and environment in causing alcoholism
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