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Addiction Research: Genes Can Influence Severity of Addiction

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory has completed an addiction research study that found that people addicted to drugs, who have a certain genetic composition, have fewer neurons in certain areas of their brains. Those addicted to drugs have less neurons in the areas responsible for decision making, self-control, learning and memory.

“This research shows that genes can influence the severity of addiction,” said Nelly Alia-Klein, an author of the research study. “This research shows that genes can influence the severity of addiction. The results suggest that addicted individuals with low MAOA (monoamine oxidase A) genotype may need a different kind of treatment than other addicted individuals who carry the high MAOA genotype.”

The research study was a combined effort from scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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