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

Warning over alcohol intake surge

The amount Britons drink has surged in recent decades, fuelled by plummeting prices and more women bingeing on alcohol. Awareness groups have warned for some time that consumption of alcohol is rising and that the number of booze-related deaths will continue to increase unless action is taken. Alison Rogers, chief executive of the British Liver….

Continue reading

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers for the Elderly

Elderly treatment is fragile and must be carefully considered before moving forward with care. Seniors often develop drinking problems to cope with loneliness, grief or pain. It is important to choose alcohol addiction treatment centers that have experience in treating the elderly. Substance abuse among the elderly is one of the fastest growing health problems….

Continue reading

Treatment for alcohol addiction

It is very necessary to treat alcohol addiction since it has many adverse effect on the addicts and also indirectly on the society. The best thing is that this addiction can be completely cured, with the strong will of the addict and by following proper treatment method. The treatment of alcohol addiction depends upon the….

Continue reading

Aversion Therapy for Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Aversion therapy is a type of therapy that teaches an alcoholic to associate some type of negative outcome with getting drunk. Aversion therapy is a way of conditioning the recovering alcoholic to not like alcohol because of the negative effects that alcohol has on them thus breaking the cycle of addiction. Aversion therapy can be….

Continue reading

All about addiction

Alcohol is a hypnotic sedative drug through which the central nervous system gets depressed. People drink alcohol on some social events and they get a lot of satisfaction from it. But this is one of the way through which they get addicted towards it. And once they get addicted, it sometimes becomes difficult to rehabilitate….

Continue reading