Posts tagged with ‘genetics’
Genes hold the information to build and maintain an organism’s cells and pass genetic traits to offspring. A significant advance in understanding the role of genetics in addiction occurred in 1990 when researchers linked the D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2 gene) to severe alcoholism. Subsequent studies have linked the A1 variation of the DRD2 gene to other addictions including, cocaine, amphetamine, heroin, and nicotine.These studies suggest that people with this genetic trait are much more susceptible to addiction.
Many individuals who experiment with drugs or alcohol move on from the experimentation and experience little to no negative consequences associated with use. For others, however, experimentation leads to a behavior pattern that eventually develops into addiction. Understanding why some people develop an addiction and others do not, is the subject of many research studies. Full Story
You are made of about 100 trillion cells. The sheer magnitude of this number is striking, representing each of the individual components that make up all of your organs, the majority of them specialized to a particular role and working in tandem with the rest of your body to keep you functioning. Every single one of these cells also contains a copy of your genetic instructions, which are like a basic blueprint for creating you. The tiny variations in the master code—brought about through fresh mutation or an old one inherited from your parents—are what make each of us unique. However, just as these mutations can be fortuitous, they are also known to contribute to a wide range of medical and psychological conditions, and addiction is just one of them.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of a substance use disorder. Both environmental and biological risk factors are in play in every case, and each individual has a unique group of risk factors that lead to the likelihood of the development of a substance use disorder. Full Story
Why do some people struggle with things like nicotine or gambling, while others can do it casually with no problem? Could certain people be more inclined to addiction? A German study seems to show that certain people may be more susceptible to addiction. Full Story
The nature versus nurture question is far from finally decided, but a recent study is helping us to better understand how nature may play a role in whether a person is vulnerable to forming a dependency on alcohol. Full Story
Most professionals in medicine, psychiatry, psychology, and medical research agree that addiction is a disease. Some compare it to a physical illness, while others believe that addiction is a neurological disorder. Addiction shares many similarities with chronic illnesses: the onset is often influenced by environmental factors, the disease responds to treatment and lifestyle changes, and it causes biological changes, such as to the neural pathways of the brain. Perhaps most importantly, as with other diseases, chronic conditions, and neurological disorders, addiction has a genetic basis.
Scientists believe they can predict who and what drugs a person is likely to use and it all has to do with your personality type. That explains why writers drink and musicians shoot heroin, right? According to a recent article, that’s not necessarily the case. Full Story
The causes of drug addiction and alcoholism are very complex. Based on myriad studies, many researchers conclude that as much as 50% of addiction is attributable to genetics. What this supposes is that if you have a parent who is addicted to drugs or abuses alcohol, you have a 50% likelihood of developing an addiction. If there are multiple kids in the family, your siblings are equally predisposed to addiction and their chances of developing addiction are the same as yours. Full Story
Recent studies have shown that there are certain brain function differences in those who use stimulant drugs when compared with controls that do not use drugs. The studies have often focused on the fronto-striatal systems of the brain that are responsible for functions of self-control. Full Story
Just because a person’s father or mother was addicted to alcohol doesn’t mean that person or their children will be.
While research focused on the genetic factors involved in addiction points to connections between the ways addiction can travel through families, experts also remind people that this isn’t an affirmation that they’ll have a substance abuse problem, nor anyone else in their family. Full Story