Seeking the Connections: Alcoholism and Our Genes: Overview/Seeking Alcoholism Genes
March 18, 2007
Dependence on alcohol is a complex and controversial disorder, but susceptibility to it shows clear patterns of inheritance, which indicates that genes transmit some biological basis for greater vulnerability.
Physiological traits, such as distinctive brain activity patterns in alcoholics and their children, help scientists pinpoint variant genes that affect a person's responses to alcohol.
Finding the genes that influence alcoholism and related disorders provides insight into how the conditions develop, opens the way for better treatments, and allows individuals at high risk to make informed choices about their own health and behavior.