Genetic variants in GABRA2 have previously been shown to be associated with alcohol measures, EEG β waves, and impulsiveness-related traits. Impulsiveness is a behavioral risk factor for alcohol and other substance abuse. Here, we tested association between 11 variants in GABRA2 with NEO- impulsiveness and problem drinking.
Our sample of 295 unrelated adult subjects was from a community of families with at least one male with DSM-IV Alcohol use diagnosis, and from a socioeconomically comparable control group.
Our results suggest that GABRA2 variation in the region between introns 3 and 4 is associated with impulsiveness and this effect partially influences the development of alcohol problems, but a direct effect of GABRA2 on problem drinking remains.
A potential functional SNP rs279827, located next to a splice site, is located in the most significant region for both impulsiveness and LAPS. The high degree of LD among nine of these SNPs and the conditional analyses we have performed suggest that all variants represent one signal.
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