Population genetics of complex alcoholism

J. C. Long, J. Brooks, A. W. Bergen, R. A. Kittles, D. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcoholism occurs when an individual continues drinking despite significant problems related to tolerance, withdrawal, and compulsive drinking behavior. Family, twin, and adoption studies reveal that alcoholism is causally complex, and in part hereditary. Progress towards identifying the genetic and environmental determinants of alcoholism has been facilitated recently by studying semi-isolated human populations. These populations are more genetically and environmentally homogeneous than cosmopolitan populations. As such, they are ideal for implementing research designs that utilize the evolutionary history of genes and populations. This talk will concentrate on molecular population genetic studies currently being conducted on Native Americans and Finns. My colleagues and I at the NIH have recently performed full genome linkage scans using samples from both groups, and we are investigating specific candidate genes with functions in neurobiology and/or alcohol metabolism. These studies have identified several chromosomal regions that are likely to harbor loci that contribute to individual differences in disease risk. They have also been used to implicate or exclude specific candidate genes. Finally, we now have recent results work on haplotype and linkage disequilibrium based association analysis for finding genes related to susceptibility to common disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-458
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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