Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adolescent alcohol use linked with genetic variation in DRD2 gene and drinking to cope

Date:
March 14, 2011
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
Drinking in teens is a problem, no matter where in the world. A recent study in the Netherlands shows that individuals with a genetic variation in the DRD2 gene may be at increased risk of drinking to cope with negative feelings and emotions.

Drinking is a popular pastime for most adolescents, but when copious amounts of alcohol are consumed (known as binging) on a regular basis, it could be indicative of a deeper problem. Therefore, researchers in the Netherlands set out to answer two questions: Why do some adolescents engage in binging so frequently, and is there a possible genetic component?

The answers will be published in the April 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

Carmen S. van der Zwaluw, senior author of the study and PhD candidate at Radboud University in the Netherlands, said that this study is the first to examine the possible association between different genes, coping drinking, and risky alcohol use in adolescents.

"Other studies have shown that alcohol use, and especially risky alcohol use, is partly heritable," said van der Zwaluw. "These studies did not show, however, which specific genes are involved in the genetic predisposition for risky alcohol use. Thus, one of the things that alcohol researchers are now trying to clarify is which genes make up the genetic vulnerability for alcohol (mis)use."

The researchers examined 282 Dutch adolescents that had consumed alcohol at least once during their lives, collected DNA samples and administered questionnaires to determine their reasons for drinking and the intensity of alcohol-related problems that they had experienced.

For the DNA analysis, variations in two different genes were examined: the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) that is involved in the reward pathway, and the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), which plays a role in emotional states. The results showed that the risk allele of the DRD2 variation, and not in the SLC6A4 gene, implicates a genetic vulnerability for both binge drinking and alcohol-related problems that may only appear if they drink to suppress or eliminate negative emotions.

"I am thrilled about the gene-environment interaction that was found in this study indicating that the relation between coping motives and alcohol consumption was stronger among the DRD2 risk allele carriers," said Helle Larsen, a PhD candidate at the Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University. "This relation should definitely be investigated more thoroughly in future research."

Van der Zwaluw agrees that since the research is the first of its kind, it must be replicated to show that it was correct and not just an anomaly.

"[The next step] would be examining whether other genetic variants increase the risk for drinking problems, and if this risk can be decreased by learning other coping styles to handle the problems."


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. Carmen S. van der Zwaluw, Emmanuel Kuntsche, Rutger C. M. E. Engels. Risky Alcohol Use in Adolescence: The Role of Genetics (DRD2, SLC6A4) and Coping Motives. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01393.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Adolescent alcohol use linked with genetic variation in DRD2 gene and drinking to cope." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118161351.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2011, March 14). Adolescent alcohol use linked with genetic variation in DRD2 gene and drinking to cope. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118161351.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Adolescent alcohol use linked with genetic variation in DRD2 gene and drinking to cope." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118161351.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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