Gene Variant Increases Risks for Alcoholism Following Childhood Abuse
Child abuse may be a contributor to a number of dyscontrolled behaviors in women, according to a study at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, at the National Institutes of Health.
Waddell: Child abuse may be a contributor to a number of dyscontrolled behaviors in women, according to a study at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, at the National Institutes of Health. Researchers for the study have found that the existence of a particular variant of the monoamine oxidase A - or MAOA gene can have a significant impact on an individual's resiliency to intense childhood trauma. Dr. Francesca Ducci, a visiting fellow with the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the NIAAA, did significant work on the study and found that.
Ducci: Subjects who are exposed to sexual abuse during childhood are more likely to later on develop alcoholism and ASPD.
Wadell: ASPD stands for Anti-Social Personality Disorder, and is one of the possible risks stemming from childhood abuse. Dr. David Goldman, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at NIAAA, said that linking abuse to serious psychiatric disorders, more than just everyday behavioral problems, is an important key finding.
Goldman: Now this study, for the first time, really underlines that the gene also has an important effect on dyscontrolled behaviors in women. And it's really the first time that this gene has been linked not just to dyscontrolled behaviors or personality, but to a major psychiatric diagnosis, namely alcoholism, and also to the Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Moving this from the realm of a behavioral difference to the realm of vulnerability to a devastating disease like alcoholism, is a further advance in knowledge.
Waddell: Dr. Goldman added that this study is particularly interesting because it clearly shows how a gene-environment interaction can have significant effects on serious diseases, such as alcoholism. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Lauren Waddell in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Lauren Waddell
Sound Bite: Dr. Francesca Ducci
Dr. David Goldman
Topic: Alcohol Abuse