An enzyme whose activity is affected by alcohol may prove useful in identifying recent alcohol or marijuna use even though it does not seem to be a good marker for genetic predisposition to alcoholism, a new international study finds. The researchers also found that the activity level of the enzyme, adenylyl cyclase, steadily dropped in people who had abstained from drinking for days to weeks and was generally lower in people with a history of major depression, according to the study published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Previous research has shown an association between a family history of alcoholism and lower activity levels of adenylyl cyclase, says lead author Paula L. Hoffman, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
This study, which had a much larger sample size than previous research, shows that the effect of genetic susceptibility to alcoholism on this enzyme’s activity levels is lost in the wake of the more substantial influence of recent alcohol use.
Ira R. Allen | EurekAlert
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