A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Research finds gene bringing together animal and human research in alcoholism

An important genetic study conducted through Mayo Clinic has identified vital new information concerning alcoholism in subjects with European ancestry, according to a recent issue of Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Research findings indicate that alcohol dependence is highly inheritable, although specific genes and their variations associated with this illness remain unknown. Animal model studies allow identification of potential candidate genes but their relevance to alcoholism in humans and its complications, including alcohol withdrawal and seizures, require additional research. Under the direction of Victor Karpyak, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, a team of clinical and basic scientists investigated the sequence of the human MPDZ gene and its association with risks for alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal seizures.

“We have long known that the presence of severe withdrawal and seizures indicates strong physical dependence on alcohol,” states Dr. Karpyak. “Focus on this group of subjects increases our chances to successfully identify the genetic variations associated with alcoholism in general and the presence of withdrawal symptoms specifically.”

Sophisticated genetic research in mice isolated small regions on mouse chromosomes linked to severity of acute alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal measured by the presence and severity of seizures. Further research demonstrated that MPDZ gene is the only one in this chromosome region which has variants associated with severity of acute alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal and seizures.

The MPDZ protein is an important scaffolding brain protein, responsible for synaptic structure and plasticity. It is also known to be involved in learning and memory as well as seizures and epilepsy and, thus, is a good candidate for the human study focused on genetic predictors for alcohol withdrawal. Unfortunately, little was known about sequence variability of the MPDZ gene in humans. It is also a very long gene and its sequencing required considerable effort and costs.

To investigate the relevance of the model findings in animals for human alcoholism, Dr. Karpyak and his collaborators resequenced the human MPDZ gene in 61 subjects with a history of alcohol withdrawal seizures, 59 subjects with a history of withdrawal without seizures and 64 samples from non-alcoholic subjects — all with European American ancestry. Sixty-seven new, mostly rare variants were discovered in the human MPDZ gene. Sequencing allowed the first opportunity of comparing the MPDZ gene in humans and mice. The new Mayo study found that the human gene does not have variations identical to those comprising the MPDZ gene associated with alcohol withdrawal seizures in mice.

Second, researchers used common variants to compare haplotype structure of the MPDZ gene in alcohol dependent subjects with and without history of withdrawal seizures and in controls who did not have alcoholism. The study revealed a significant association between MPDZ gene variant alcohol-dependency without seizures, compared to the control subjects. Contrary to initial hypothesis and animal findings, the study showed no significant association between MPDZ sequence variants and withdrawal seizures in humans. This suggests the potential role of MPDZ in alcoholism and/or related phenotypes other than alcohol withdrawal seizures.

This important new information supports further investigation of the role of MPDZ gene in alcoholism and its complications including withdrawal syndrome. It also indicates the importance of close collaboration between clinical and basic scientists that could provide critical insights into the mechanism of the association and reveal significant genetic markers of alcoholism.

http://www.mayoclinic.org

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Underage drinking

Here are some sobering statistics for Madison County parents. # Madison County is in the top 10 counties in the state for underage DUI risks, says Patsy Hillard of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Central Mississippi. # While the national average is age 13 for children to start using alcohol and….

Continue reading

'Plunge' event deals with the problems facing youth and alcohol

Like it or not, Wisconsinites are known for loving beer about as much as their passion for cheese. Some studies, though, are showing that this alcohol-enamored mentality isn’t exclusive to the Dairy State’s adults. As a result, some groups are organizing efforts to curb underage drinking among Wisconsin’s youth. One such event-called “The Plunge”-was held….

Continue reading

Courts Give Some Addicts Chance to Straighten Out

SEATTLE — It was not your usual courtroom scene. For one thing, the judge choked up as he described one woman’s struggle with opiate addiction after her arrest for forging prescriptions. Over the last three years, she had repeatedly missed court-ordered therapy and hearings, and the judge, J. Wesley Saint Clair of the Drug Diversion….

Continue reading

Coalition targets underage drinking

Local and national studies show that some young people are reporting taking their first drink at the age of 11. In Auburn, 5 percent of seventh graders have already used alcohol in the last month, according to an Auburn City Schools survey. By ninth grade, that number rises to 15 percent, and by 12th grade….

Continue reading

Facts about narcotics anonymous

Narcotic anonymous is a “non profit fellowship”. This organization can be said to be a society of all the men and women who are or were addicted to drugs. These people meet regularly and carry out different programs to help the addicted recover from their addiction. The only criteria for earning the membership of this….

Continue reading