Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heredity behind subjective effects of alcohol

24.05.2011
Scientists have long known that people who have a close relative with alcohol problems themselves run an increased risk of starting to abuse alcohol. The reason for this has not been known, but a new study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, provides part of the answer. The study shows that people who have a close relative who is an alcoholic react more positively to alcohol than other people.

The study has been published in the scientific journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, and is the first to have investigated a large group of people who have a close relative with type I alcoholism. Previous research in the field has been based on a more limited population, such as sons of alcoholic fathers.

There are two types of alcoholism, type I and type II. Type I alcohol abuse depends to a large extent on the interaction of genetic factors with the environment, such as social environment and life events, while type II alcohol abuse involves a large genetic risk of developing alcohol addiction, independent of environment.

“The study is unique in the way in which we have studied how children of type I alcoholics experience the effects of alcohol and compared this with the experiences of the control group, which consisted of people who had no history of alcohol abuse in the family. The group of people who were children of type I alcoholics were healthy and had no mental health problems, and they did not have alcohol problems themselves”, says Anna Söderpalm-Gordh, scientist at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

The scientists gave moderate amounts of either alcohol or placebo in the form of juice to a group of 51 participants, 34 men and 17 women. The drink that any participant received was determined at random. Twenty-nine of the participants were members of the control group, while 22 were members of the group for whom a member of the family had type I alcoholism. Members of both groups then described how they experienced the effects of the alcohol.

The scientists discovered that participants with a family member with type I alcoholism reported more positive and more stimulating effects from drinking alcohol than participants in the control group. These individuals also wanted to drink more alcohol than those in the group without any heredity effects. This supports the hypothesis that children of type I alcoholics inherit some form of positive experience of drinking alcohol.

“These results show that some of us are more responsive to the rewarding effects of alcohol: we react to alcohol more strongly and more positively than others. This can, in turn, lead to increased consumption and a greater risk of alcohol abuse. The results also suggest that children of type I alcoholics, who have been considered to run a smaller hereditary risk of developing alcohol addiction, may be in the danger zone for developing alcoholism”, says Anna Söderpalm-Gordh.

She believes that these results are important, particularly against the background of the fact that around 40% of the population of Sweden have a close family member who has problems with alcohol.

“Be aware of how you react to alcohol. You should consider cutting down and not drinking as much as other people if you notice that you experience alcohol as more positive than your friends,” she says, and continues:

“Each person’s individual experience of alcohol is an important tool in understanding why certain people develop alcoholism and it may be a marker in itself for how an individual’s alcohol consumption may develop. Our discovery is part of the preventative work that can help a certain group of people who run the risk of drinking too much alcohol.”

The journal: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER)
Title of the article: Healthy subjects with a family history of alcoholism show increased stimulative effects of alcohol

Authors: Anna Söderpalm-Gordh and Bo Söderpalm

For more information, contact:
Dr. Anna Söderpalm-Gordh, tel: +46(0)31 342 3483, +46(0)70 421 4848,
e-mail: anna.soderpalm@neuro.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

Further reports about: Alcoholism Heredity alcohol abuse experimental mental health problem

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>