Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Simplifying measures of genetic risk for alcohol dependence

Date:
April 5, 2010
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
While previous twin studies have consistently shown the importance of genetic influences on various measures of alcohol consumption, a full diagnostic assessment can be complicated and lengthy. This has led some researchers to ask: To what extent do measures of alcohol consumption accurately index the genetic risk for alcohol dependence (AD)? Findings indicate that four relatively simple measures of alcohol consumption were able to capture all (in women) or a very large proportion (in men) of the genetic risk for AD.

While previous twin studies have consistently shown the importance of genetic influences on various measures of alcohol consumption, a full diagnostic assessment can be complicated and lengthy. This has led some researchers to ask: To what extent do measures of alcohol consumption accurately index the genetic risk for alcohol dependence (AD)? Findings indicate that four relatively simple measures of alcohol consumption were able to capture all (in women) or a very large proportion (in men) of the genetic risk for AD.

Results will be published in the June 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

"This research has both theoretical and practical implications," explained Kenneth S. Kendler, Banks Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study. "Do the detailed clinical assessments of AD symptoms -- such as tolerance, loss of control, withdrawal, and desire or inability to cut down -- provide additional important information about genetic risk above and beyond that obtained from relatively simple consumption-related; measures such as the ones we tested?"

Kendler and his colleagues assessed a lifetime history of AD in 5,073 (2,090 complete pairs and 893 twins whose co-twins did not participate) same-sex adult twins from the Virginia Twin Registry -- using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fourth Edition criteria -- against four measures of alcohol consumption at the time of heaviest drinking: drinking frequency, regular quantity, maximum quantity, and drunk frequency.

"We found that four relatively simple measures of alcohol consumption obtained for the time of lifetime heaviest drinking were able to capture all or nearly all of the genetic risk for the DSM-IV diagnosis of alcohol dependence," said Kendler. "We believe that it would be possible for researchers to obtain these relatively simple self-reported measures for the period of heaviest drinking to index genetic risk rather than the more time consuming and difficult diagnostic assessments of AD."

The practical implications of our results are clear, added Kendler. "They show that considerably simpler measures for the period of heaviest drinking may be able to index the same genetic risk factors that are assessed through structured clinical interviews," he said. "In other words, relatively simple measures of drinking behavior can make the process of risk identification both easier and faster for everyone."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kenneth S. Kendler, John Myers, Danielle Dick, Carol A. Prescott. The Relationship Between Genetic Influences on Alcohol Dependence and on Patterns of Alcohol Consumption. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01181.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Simplifying measures of genetic risk for alcohol dependence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174934.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2010, April 5). Simplifying measures of genetic risk for alcohol dependence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174934.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Simplifying measures of genetic risk for alcohol dependence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174934.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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