This accounts for at least some of the extreme variance between people and their individual responses to alcohol and dependence tendencies, regardless of a history of alcoholism in their family.
While information regarding genetics and heredity is often easily confused, there are important distinctions between the two you should be aware of. These factors are indeed closely linked, as children obviously receive genes passed down from their parents. Genes are passed from parent to child and several genes have already been identified as having an association with alcohol dependency. Research has shown that drinking behavior is also linked to genes involved in neuronal pathway development. These genes deal with the behavior control, stress-resistance, pleasure, and reward aspects of alcohol consumption, which are often the culprits for addiction and withdrawal.
While some people are genetically predisposed to experience the negative aspects of drinking nausea, vomiting, overheating, mood swings, etc. Letting this cycle progress unattended will ultimately result in the development of mental and physical withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is no longer regularly consumed. The link between heredity and alcoholism is complex and requires significantly more research.
Alcoholism and Genetics: Is There an Inherited Family Alcohol Gene? - Genetics Research
Unlike genetic diseases that are a result of specific gene sets passed from parent to child, heredity diseases are mutations that impact certain genes that have been passed down through the generations. Scientists are still assessing the impact this has on alcoholism and addiction. The risk of alcohol abuse increases exponentially when paired with other environmental influences. These influences include, but are not limited to:.
Avoid drinking at an early age. Not only is consuming alcohol before the age of 21 illegal, it also increases the risk of AUD.
The Genetics of Alcohol Use Disorder
Research has found a direct correlation between underage drinking and alcohol abuse in the future. Practice drinking in moderation. If you plan to consume alcohol, make sure you do so responsibly.
This means up to a single drink a day for women or up to two drinks a day for men. Drinking more than this on a regular basis will put you at greater risk of developing AUD in the future. Do you think you or a loved one may already have AUD? Answer these questions as an informal assessment. In the past year, have you:.
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may have AUD and you should seek assistance from a primary healthcare specialist as soon as possible. He or she will assess your risk for alcohol addiction and design an individualized plan for treatment. The earlier this process begins, the sooner you or your loved one can start down the road to recovery.
Regardless of the duration or severity of AUD, research shows that receiving treatment increases the potential for recovery. After an official diagnosis is made, your healthcare practitioner will likely prescribe a combination of therapy, medicine, and mutual-support group sessions to curb the urge to consume and alter inappropriate drinking behaviors.
Once that is known, approaches toward better treatment can be taken much more effectively. So, what exactly causes alcohol use disorder? Since it is a form of addiction, it is safe to assume that the triggers of alcohol problems are similar for both categories, namely gender, environment, mental health status, family history as well as genetics. If you are surprised to hear that even AUD has genetic underpinnings, just remember that scientific and technological progress has enabled researchers to understand that a plethora of diseases and conditions is due to the information that is stored in genes.
Furthermore, not only does AUD have a genetic background, researchers estimate that genetic risk constitutes about half the problem of alcohol addiction with the other half being family history. You may think that this makes sense since genes and genetic traits are shared among families, but that is not always the case since family history also takes into consideration the environment in which one was raised that may have had an impact without any genetic background.
The Role of Genetics in Addiction
The possible genes that are involved in AUD have been revealed a few years ago. In , a group of scientists was able to narrow things down to 11 genes. The findings were initially based on a study that was conducted in mice, and the discovered associated genes were then also found in groups of humans. Some genes can help individuals control their alcohol intake and maintain it at a normal level. Three of the eleven genes that were discovered are listed below:.
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