Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alcohol Researchers Find Genetic Locus Of Human Brain Wave

Date:
March 13, 2002
Source:
NIH/National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
Summary:
Bernice Porjesz, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn, and others from six of the nine universities that comprise NIAAA's Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences significant linkage and linkage disequilibrium between beta brain wave (EEG) frequency and a cluster of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor genes on human chromosome 4.

March 12, 2002 -- Bernice Porjesz, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn, and others from six of the nine universities that comprise NIAAA's Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) report in today's online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (99[6]:3729-3733) significant linkage and linkage disequilibrium between beta brain wave (EEG) frequency and a cluster of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor genes on human chromosome 4. Conducted in the laboratory of COGA Principal Investigator Dr. Henri Begleiter, the study is coauthored by Laura Almasy, Ph.D., Howard J. Edenberg, Ph.D., and Theodore Reich, Ph.D., among others.

"Drs. Porjesz and Begleiter are the first to find a specific genetic locus associated with fundamental human brain oscillations. Their work contributes to understanding of brain neuroelectric activity and expedites our search for alcoholism risk and protective genes," said NIAAA Acting Director Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D.

Since the 1929 discovery of the human electroencephalogram (EEG), scientists have measured brain electrical activity, displayed as undulating lines with "peaks" and "valleys" called waves. Oscillations in these waves represent important features of information processing and are highly heritable. Beta EEG frequency, elevated in alcoholics and their alcohol-naοve offspring, for some years has been regarded as a possible marker of alcoholism susceptibility. While its specific functional role is not yet defined, beta wave oscillation reflects heightened activity of the underlying neuronal network, scientists believe.

Activity of GABAA, the primary receptor subtype of the inhibitory brain neurotransmitter GABA, is responsible for nerve cell inhibition throughout the brain. Mounting evidence from human and animal studies implicates GABAA in the development of tolerance to and dependence on alcohol and in genetic liability for alcoholism. Among its many functions, GABAA serves as the gatekeeper for neurons that influence beta EEG frequency. Scientists have speculated that some perturbation of GABAA activity is responsible for heightened beta EEG activity in alcoholics and their offspring.

The authors of today's study relied on recent advances in statistical and molecular genetics that permit scientists to examine neurobiological phenotypes in conjunction with DNA markers. They examined beta EEG frequency and DNA markers in a sample of 1553 individuals drawn from a COGA sample of 250 alcoholism-affected families and found the strongest evidence for linkage with EEG power on the short-arm of chromosome 4 for the beta traits. Their results provide strong evidence for an association between beta EEG frequencies and a cluster of genes located on chromosome 4.

In 1998, COGA identified a "hot spot" for a possible alcoholism-related gene on chromosome 4 from a whole-genome scan of families with high alcoholism prevalence. At the same time, NIAAA's Laboratory of Neurogenetics reported from independent scan evidence on chromosome 4 for both alcoholism-risk and alcoholism-protective gene loci. Subsequent replication studies have provided additional evidence suggestive of alcohol-related genes in a specific area of chromosome 4.

###

Full text of the paper appears at 5:00 p.m. in the PNAS Early Edition at http://www.pnas.org.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, conducts and supports approximately 90 percent of U.S. research on the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol problems and disseminates research findings to science, practitioner, policy making, and general audiences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. "Alcohol Researchers Find Genetic Locus Of Human Brain Wave." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020313074935.htm>.
NIH/National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. (2002, March 13). Alcohol Researchers Find Genetic Locus Of Human Brain Wave. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020313074935.htm
NIH/National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. "Alcohol Researchers Find Genetic Locus Of Human Brain Wave." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020313074935.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Most people don’t realize that ADHD isn’t just for kids. It can affect the work as well as personal lives of many adults, and often times they don’t even know they have it. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Sight and Sounds of Autism

The Sight and Sounds of Autism

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — A new study is explaining why for some people with autism what they see and what they hear is out of sync. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) — A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins