Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inherited Impulsivity Predicts Alcoholism, Study Reports

Date:
April 23, 2009
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Solving the age-old chicken and the egg dilemma, researchers report that genetic predisposition to impulsivity is a trait predictive of alcoholism. Selective breeding of mice allowed researchers to focus on whether changing genes changes behavior.

Solving the age-old chicken and the egg dilemma, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis researchers report that genetic predisposition to impulsivity is a trait predictive of alcoholism. The study appears on the July print issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, available online on April 22.

The researchers, led by Nicholas Grahame, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the IUPUI School of Science, used selective breeding for 30 generations to produce mice who were high volume alcohol drinkers and others who avoided consuming alcohol. The genetically different mice were presented with a choice between a small, immediate reward and a large, delayed reward. By adjusting the quantity of the immediate reward up and down based on choice behavior, the task allowed the researchers to test the impulsivity of the rodents.

The mice with high alcohol preferring genes were more impulsive than their low drinking counterparts demonstrating that predisposition to impulsivity is predictive of alcoholism.

"Selective breeding allowed us to focus on whether changing genes changes behavior. Just like golden retrievers are bred to retrieve, we were able to breed mice genetically predisposed to drink alcohol voluntarily. Many drink enough to reach a blood alcohol level of .08," said Dr. Grahame, who is a behavioral geneticist.

In humans a blood alcohol level of .08 is produced by the consumption of two drinks an hour by a 120-pound individual or 3 drinks an hour by a 180-pound individual. At that level human concentration and judgment are impaired and all 50 states prohibit operation of a motor vehicle.

"It is well documented that humans with alcohol problems have impulsivity issues. High impulsivity, when defined as the tendency to choose small instantaneous rewards over larger delayed rewards – like getting drunk instead of going to work for that paycheck in 2 weeks— is more prevalent in alcoholics than in non-alcoholics. Because these mice had never had alcohol, we were able to show that it was the genes that increase drinking, rather than drinking itself, that yielded impulsive behavior," said Dr. Grahame.

"Our data can clearly be extrapolated to humans and strongly suggests that impulsivity contributes to high alcohol drinking. Consequently, the diagnosis of any disorder associated with impulsivity, such as attention deficit disorder or bipolar disorder, is cause for concern about future problems with alcoholism," he added.

Co-author of "High Alcohol Preferring Mice Are More Impulsive than Low Alcohol Preferring Mice as Measured in the Delay Discounting Task," is Brandon Gregg Oberlin, a doctoral candidate in the Program in Medical Neuroscience at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The study was funded by the IUPUI School of Science and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. G. Oberlin and N. J. Grahame. High-Alcohol Preferring Mice Are More Impulsive Than Low-Alcohol Preferring Mice as Measured in the Delay Discounting Task. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.00955.x

Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Inherited Impulsivity Predicts Alcoholism, Study Reports." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422175146.htm>.
Indiana University. (2009, April 23). Inherited Impulsivity Predicts Alcoholism, Study Reports. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422175146.htm
Indiana University. "Inherited Impulsivity Predicts Alcoholism, Study Reports." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422175146.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
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