Alcoholism: A Whole-Genome Study

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Alcohol like many other drugs can be addictive; the question is how our genetic makeup and environment play a role in this does? Alcoholism is a difficult condition that encompasses both the genetic and environmental factors. Like other addictive drugs, youths who consume alcohol are more likely to become addicted and remain addicted throughout their adult lives. Alcoholism has a very high impact on our society. The Center for Disease Control informs us that there are over 100,000 alcohol related deaths every year due to drunk drivers and other alcohol related injuries and diseases. Each day 65 drivers die in drunk driving accidents according to the California Capitol Report. In 1988, 25,000 Americans were killed in auto accidents involving…show more content…
1986). Genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of alcoholism. Whole-genome expression profiling has highlighted the importance of several genes that may contribute to alcohol abuse disorders. Over the last several decades many studies have been conducted to look at how the environment and genetics plays a role in drinking habits. Because alcoholism is so complex it is very difficult to pinpoint one single gene that may cause someone to become an alcoholic. However, there have been two genes found to influence alcohol abuse and alcoholism DRD2 and SLC6A4. DRD2 gene influences binge drinking and alcohol dependence when drinking is used to cope with negative emotions. SLC6A4 gene, a serotonin transporter, doesn’t appear to be connected with drinking to cope with emotions. Instead, the gene is intertwined with cravings and urges to consume alcohol in those that are dependent. (Elements Behavioral Health, 2016) Several recent studies have emphasized how alcohol exposure can result in aberrant epigenetic regulatory mechanisms during development, leading to FASD. For example, alcohol consumption by the mother altered DNA methylation profiles in mouse embryos, resulting in neurofacial deficits and growth retardation, both of which are hallmarks of FASD (Liu et al.…show more content…
At the Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in 2012 results of a study conducted by Corinne Reczek and her team showed that women who are currently married consume more alcohol than their counterparts who are divorced. Data collected from a 47 year period of surveys showed that married women often drink more with their husbands and might even keep alcohol on hand more often. These conditions have the potential to lead to an addiction. By consuming alcohol we do subtle damage to brain cells, harm that could potentially cause us to lose control over how much we drink. (ABC News,
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