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Friday, March 9, 2012

The Influence of Gene–Environment Interactions on the Development of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

Alcoholism and drug dependence are common psychiatric disorders with a heritability of about 50%; therefore genetic and environmental influences are equally important.

Early-life stress is a predictor of adolescent problem drinking/drug use and alcohol/drug dependence in adulthood, but moderating factors governing the availability of alcohol/drug are important.

The risk–resilience balance for addiction may be due in part to the interaction between genetic variation and environment stressors (G × E); this has been confirmed by twin studies of inferred genetic risk.

Measured genotype studies to detect G × E effects have used a range of alcohol consumption and diagnostic phenotypes and stressors ranging from early-life to adulthood past year life events.

In this article, the current state of the field is critically reviewed and suggestions are put forth for future research.

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