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Jan 4, 2008

Investigators Identify Mutations Associated with Alcoholism

  • Inserm researchers found that four polymorphisms within the dopamine transporter (DAT1) gene are associated with alcohol withdrawal seizures.

    Previous studies have shown an association between some variations of the DAT gene and the occurrence of withdrawal seizures in alcohol-dependent patients.

    The investigators examined 250 alcohol-dependent subjects recruited from three university hospitals in Paris suburbs. Of the 175 men and 75 women, 24% exhibited withdrawal seizures. All participants were genotyped for the variable nucleotide tandem repeat (VNTR) of the gene that encodes DAT1 as well as for seven SNPs encompassing the DAT1 gene. Severity of alcohol dependence was also measured.

    The data linked four polymorphisms, the DAT1-VNTR, rs27072, rs27048, and rs2963238, to an altered risk for withdrawal seizures.

    Results are published in the January issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.



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