Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Genetics of Alcohol Use Disorder

Past research on Alcohol use disorder (AUD), the medical term for alcoholism has linked the addiction to hereditary and environmental factors. Having parents who abuse alcohol or being exposed to social factors do increase one's chances to struggle with the addiction, but ultimately the determining factor for the vulnerability to the addiction is genetic predisposition. A study investigates the genetic risk prediction and neurobiological understanding of alcoholism, provides results indicating a network of genes related to the susceptibility to the addiction. According to the study's results, genes increasing alcohol dependence vulnerability such as, SNCA involved in modulating brain plasticity and neurotransmission, CFG involved in neuron-astrocyte interaction, GRM3 involved in neurotransmitter signaling, and others are decreased in expression prior to alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a serious disease affecting many people, and their families. Understanding the genetic mechanism of our bodies making some more susceptible to the addiction gives us clearer view to the actual cause of the disease. Being genetically predisposed does not mean that one will become dependent, since the disease can not be initiated without the external component (alcohol),but makes us understand  why while a lot of people drink some become more easily dependent  than others? According to a  publication from the American Addiction Center genetics are 50 percent of the underlying reason for AUD. Those people when consuming alcohol experience more  pleasurable emotions.


  1. Our genetic structure determines our human traits. However our behavioral characteristics are also passed on to us by our parents. This also includes depression and mental issues. Research shows that genes are responsible for about half of the risk for AUD.

  2. I think that it's important to understand the heredity of alcoholism and any other type of addiction. Society normally blames the individual for the addiction, and thinks the solution is as easy as deciding to stop and not picking up another bottle. Environmental factors are important to consider, but it is also important to think about the genetic factor because genetics contribute 50% of the cause of alcoholism.