A new study funded by The National Institute of Health has identified a gene variant that may increase a person's risk of developing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
The gene varient affects the release of a brain protien, and in mice was correlated to accessive consumption of alcohol, despite negative consequences.
In humans, the gene varient has already been linked to psychiatric disorders, depression and schizophrenia.
“Genetic factors play a role in determining who develops alcohol problems,” Dr. George Koob, PhD, NIAAA Director, said in a press release. “By understanding the genetic underpinnings of alcohol use disorder, we will be better able to develop targeted treatment and prevention strategies.”
Researchers were able to stop excessive alcohol consumption in mice with the varient using gene delivery and pharmacology.