Alcoholism genetic

Why do people with East Asian heritage get flushed after drinking alcohol?

If your face goes red when drinking alcohol, you’re not alone. More than one in three people with East Asian heritage (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) experience facial flushing when drinking beer, wine or spirits. In Asian populations, it is due to an inherited deficiency in one of the enzymes involved in the breakdown of alcohol: aldehyde dehydrogenase. This type of reaction is very rare, but not unknown, in other ethnic groups. But there is more to this deficiency than just an embarrassing reddening of the face. There are positive and negative health implications. And it provided a lightbulb moment, helping us understand how a common treatment for alcoholism works. How you digest alcohol...

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Asian Flush, Genes and Cancer Risk

If you have ever gone out to a bar with friends of East Asian descent (Chinese, Japanese or Korean), you would have probably noticed that the face of at least one of them turned red after just a few sips of alcohol. You ask your friend if they’re okay. They just laugh it off and tell you it’s an “Asian flush.” The Asian flush, sometimes called the “Asian glow,” refers to a common reaction to alcohol among East Asians. This facial flushing was found to be a result of a deficiency of a liver enzyme called ALDH2. This finding was revealed in a 1981 article in Lancet. The chemical breakdown of alcohol happens primarily in the human liver and is facilitated by...

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Brookhaven Lab finds alcoholism-genetics link, Newsday

(Dec. 2007) Photo Credit: Bloomberg News Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have provided the first experimental evidence demonstrating how chronic alcoholism is influenced by a pre-existing genetic makeup that drives the urge to drink. The research, conducted in specially bred mice by neuroscientist Dr. Peter Thanos and colleagues, found that brains lacking a particular receptor were more likely to become vulnerable to alcohol. Humans also have the receptor, but when it's presence is low, Thanos said, alcoholism generally occurs. "Some people can go to a party and have a drink and nothing happens, but others can go to a party and one drink can lead to catastrophic consequences,"...

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Alcoholism linked to mutated DNA: Excessive drinking gene may play key role in addictive behaviour: scientists, National Post

Alcoholism could be in our DNA, experts have suggested, after a gene linked to excessive drinking was discovered by scientists. It is a well known fact that side effects of heavy drinking can often lead to impaired brain activity, poor motor skills and even changes in behaviour. But a new study from Yale University suggests that heavy drinking may actually accelerate the body’s ability to turn alcohol into energy-boosting acetate, especially in the brain. The findings may have implications for treating alcohol withdrawal in addicts, and researchers say they also prove that the brain is constantly adapting and developing according to its environment and intakes. A single mutation in...

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Is Alcoholism Really Genetic? - Blu By The Sea

You have probably heard that many consider alcoholism to be a genetic condition. The rumor is that if you have any family history of alcoholism, then your chances of also becoming reliant on the beverage increases tenfold. But is this really true? According to recent study published in Forbes, this claim does appear to have some merit(1). Apparently, the Scripps Research Institute has been busy putting this theory to the test with the help of some lab mice, and they have identified a specific gene that greatly affects someone’s habits related to alcohol use. This is exciting news, because if people can be identified as having a greater risk of becoming dependent on alcohol, they will...

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Heavy alcohol drinking and potassium channel genes, Atlas of Science

Heavy alcohol drinking and potassium channel genes Alcohol use disorder is a chronic and relapsing brain disease that has damaging, sometimes deadly, consequences for the individual and costs society billions of dollars a year (approximately $223 billion). Despite alcohol use being one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, there are only a handful of FDA-approved drug treatments, all of which have had little success. In the age of personalized medicine and the absence of successful treatments, the focus of much research has shifted toward exploring the genetic basis of alcoholism in an effort to identify and validate new treatments. Recent evidence, from both...

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The Alcoholism Gene: Fact or Fiction?, Sprout Health Group

The Alcoholism Gene: Fact or Fiction? May 4, 2016 - Uncategorized - 0 Comments How did this get started? If you are among the millions of people in this country who have a parent, grandparent, sibling or other close relative with alcoholism, you may have wondered what your family’s history of alcoholism means for you. Are problems with alcohol a part of your future? Is your risk for becoming an alcoholic greater than for people who do not have a family history of alcoholism? If so, what can you do to lower your risk? Should you start to worry about treatment for alcohol abuse? Alcoholism and drug dependence, like many diseases, are considered genetically complex and involve variations...

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Genes affect alcoholism medication : WHYY

A medication used to treat alcoholism works in only a fraction of patients who take it. Several years ago, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found the reason why — a difference between patients’ genes. Now, Doctor David Oslin at Penn and his colleagues are looking to put that genetic information to work — in helping doctors write prescriptions. WHYY’s health and science reporter Kerry Grens spoke with Oslin about the medication, naltrexone. To hear more about tailoring medicines to our genes, attend a special event at whyy wednesday (6/20) evening. You can find more information and RSVP here. Oslin: “It works by reducing people...

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Alcoholism…Are Genes to Blame? - Council on Recovery

Are issues with alcohol a future risk for you? Have you ever questioned yourself and thought, “Am I an alcoholic?” Many Americans drink alcohol, but can have one drink and put it down for the rest of the evening. Not everyone who drinks develops a dependence on alcohol. However, many individuals are concerned about their chances of struggling with alcohol dependence due to their genetic predisposition. The question is, “How much do genes truly affect the likelihood of becoming an alcoholic?” Research has proven genes are responsible for nearly half of the risk for developing alcohol use disorder. But, there is not one specific gene which contributes to alcoholism. Recent science has...

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Study Finds Gene Network Associated with Alcoholism, Department of Psychiatry

Study Finds Gene Network Associated with Alcoholism There is good evidence from studies of families and twins that genetics plays an important role in the development of alcoholism. However, hundreds of genes likely are involved in this complex disorder, with each variant contributing only a very small effect. Thus, identifying individual risk genes is difficult. Using a new approach that combines genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with information about which human proteins interact with one another, researchers from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Yale University Medical School have identified a group of 39 genes that together are strongly associated with...

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