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Previous studies have shown that the brain's serotonergic system or the group of nerve cells that uses the neurotransmitter serotonin is linked to an individual's choice of alcoholic drink and how much of it he consumes. A recent study has now shown the mechanism through which drinking intensity can be predicted in alcohol abusers. The key apparently lies in DNA sequence variations in the gene that is responsible for regulating the release and use of serotonin.

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The said study looked into the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4. The gene is said to influence the individual's tendency for excessive alcohol intake. The researchers observed six sequence variations of this particular gene among alcohol-dependent subjects currently undergoing treatment.

Serotonin is a neurochemical that carries information between nerve cells in the brain, mediating the rewarding effects of alcohol, wrote the study authors, professors at the University of Virginia. The researchers went on to explain that alcohol intake triggers the release of serotonin in the brain which then affects the areas the regulate alcohol consumption. When the individual takes in too much alcohol, the transmission of serotonin and, in effect, the chemical's ability to transmit signals between nerve cells is hampered. The researchers hypothesized that alcohol intake is a result of the need to alleviate the deficiency in serotonin.

The Laboratory of Psychiatric Genetics at the University of Iowa notes that the findings of this study may lead to the development of more personalized alcohol treatment methods. An implicit assumption of the Human Genome Project was that deciphering the human genome would lead to better treatment, the professor says. By and large, that promise has not yet been realized, particularly for those with psychiatric illnesses. This study may well be the first of many looking into how genetics can play a big role in an individual's predisposition for alcoholism.

The researchers concluded that there are people who already possess genetic risk factors that can make their alcoholism more severe than others. They can also be more vulnerable to the potential complications caused by binge drinking. They recommended that future studies be conducted to investigate the gene variations further and hopefully use them as markers to identify the effectiveness of certain treatment methods.

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Posted in Cleaning Services Post Date 02/21/2020






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