Chromosome 11 Linked to Alcoholism

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Research into genetic factors affecting alcoholism is ongoing and making significant strides.

The Study

Researchers recently analyzed the entire genomes of nearly 1900 Americans and found an association between a number of genes and alcoholism. In addition to confirming the results of previous studies that had identified related genes, the study found that a cluster of genes on chromosome 11 may be associated with alcoholism.

The findings will be published in the May 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

What Does This Mean?

We know that both environmental and genetic factors play a role in developing alcoholism, but science has yet to determine all the details of this complex relationship. This study is unique in that it looked at the entire human genome instead of just a few genes at a time--a method that examined genes never before suspected of being associated with alcoholism. This study is just one part of a larger research effort to identify how genetic variations affect the development of alcoholism. These exciting scientific breakthroughs have the potential to shape the future of alcoholism and addiction treatment and prevention.

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