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Genetic variations associated with alcoholism

Researchers have now discovered a new connection between genetic variations associated with alcoholism, impulsive behavior and a region of the brain involved in craving and anxiety.

“Scientists often find a statistical association between behaviors and various genes, but the mechanism that’s at work frequently remains unclear,” said researcher Margit Burmeister, Ph.D. “Here we took some steps toward explaining how specific risk factors are influencing behavior and the brain.”

People under stress who have the genetic variation will act impulsively, which can then lead to problems with alcohol.

“Developing deeper understandings of the various genetic and environmental factors involved in risky behaviors may guide prevention and treatment efforts in the future,” said Sandra Villafuerte, Ph.D., a research investigator at the University of Michigan’s Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychiatry.


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