Author(s): Young RM, Lawford BR, Feeney GF, Ritchie T, Noble EP
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Abstract Molecular genetic research has identified promising markers of alcohol dependence, including alleles of the D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) and the GABAA receptor beta3 subunit (GABRB3) genes. Whether such genetic risk manifests itself in stronger alcohol-related outcome expectancies, or in difficulty resisting alcohol, is unknown. In the present study, A1+ (A1A1 and A1A2 genotypes) and A1- (A2A2 genotype) alleles of the DRD2 and G1+ (G1G1 and G1 non-G1 genotypes) and G1- (non-G1 non-G1 genotype) alleles of the GABRB3 gene were determined in a group of 56 medically ill patients diagnosed with alcohol dependence. Mood-related alcohol expectancy (AE) and drinking refusal self-efficacy (DRSE) were assessed using the Drinking Expectancy Profile (Manual for the Drinking Expectancy Profile, Behaviour Research and Therapy Centre, Brisbane, 1996). Patients with the DRD2 A1+ allele, compared with those with the DRD2 A1- allele, reported significantly lower DRSE in situations of social pressure. Similarly, lower DRSE was reported under social pressure by patients with the GABRB3 G1+ allele when compared to those with the GABRB3 G1- alleles. Patients with the GABRB3 G1+ allele also revealed reduced DRSE in situations characterized by negative affect than those with the GABRB3 G1- alleles. Patients carrying the GABRB3 G1+ allele showed stronger AE relating to negative affective change (for example, increased depression) than their GABRB3 G1- counterparts. Biological influence in the development of some classes of cognitions is hypothesized. The clinical implications, particularly with regard to patient-treatment matching and the development of an integrated psychological and pharmacogenetic approach, are discussed.
This article was published in Psychiatry Res
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy