Author(s): Dahlgren A, Wargelius HL, Berglund KJ, Fahlke C, Blennow K,
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Abstract AIMS: The TaqIA polymorphism of the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene has been extensively studied in relation to alcoholism, and the TaqI A1 allele appears to be over-represented in alcohol-dependent individuals. In a recent study, this allele has also been associated with a highly increased mortality rate in alcohol-dependent individuals. In the present study, we investigated whether the TaqI A1 allele of the DRD2 gene region was associated with a higher relapse rate in alcohol-dependent individuals. METHODS: Adult women (n = 10) and men (n = 40) with a diagnosis of alcohol-dependence were recruited from two Swedish 12-step treatment units for alcoholism. Subjects were genotyped for the TaqIA polymorphism. On average, 1½ year after the end of the treatment program, subjects were re-interviewed by using the alcohol-related items from the Addiction Severity Index follow-up version. RESULTS: Thirty-three (66\%) subjects self-reported relapse and 17 (34\%) abstinence during the follow-up period. Thirty-sex percent (18/50) were carriers of the A1 allele of the DRD2 gene region, and 64\% (32/50) were non-carriers. Among the carriers of the A1 allele, 89\% (16/18) reported relapse in contrast to 53\% (17/32) in the non-carriers (P = 0.01; odds ratio = 7.1). CONCLUSION: The present study is, to our knowledge, the first report of an association between the TaqI A1 allele and a substantially increased relapse rate. It should be emphasized that the number of subjects is relatively small, and this investigation should therefore be considered as a pilot study.
This article was published in Alcohol Alcohol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy