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Thread: Gene for addiction

  1. #1 Gene for addiction 
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    Is there really such thing as gene for addiction? Gene that gives u a certain predisposition for addiction? And, how is it passed to the next generation? Are we able to find, and neutralize that gene, or at least control it to a certain point?


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  3. #2  
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    yeah genetic susceptibility to addiction is the result of the interaction of many genes.
    Addiction is due 50 percent to genetic predisposition and 50 percent to poor coping skills. This has been confirmed by numerous studies.


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  4. #3  
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    As devnty06 says there are numerous genes responsible for addiction, though many are found by animal models. Human research is mostly based on the hereditary nature of addiction.

    I wonder, devnty06 how you came about this 50%-50% divide of nature versus nurture. Especially given it could be argued that poor coping skills themselves could be genetic or that addictions and poor coping skills could be due to environmental factors as much as genetic factors which would confound attempts to lay the blame on nature or nurture. Could you provide references?

    Also we'd have to define addiction - its not that straight-forward. In medicine the definition is derived from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association or the International Classification of Disease (WHO). They are based omn two criteria; dependence and abuse, under which there are sub-criteria.

    The fact that they are diagnosed based on clinical judgement and not a biomarker (like a heart attack could be) means there is overlap in the diagnosis making research into the field difficult as the outcome measure is poorly defined. The state of knowledge is that genes are thought to play a prominent role but its unclear exactly which ones and how - yet.

    Check out: http://focus.psychiatryonline.org/cg...t/full/4/3/401
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  5. #4  
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    So, Prometheus, you're saying there is no specific evidence that this gene, or "system" of genes exists in humans? No scientific proofs?
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  6. #5  
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    Depends what you mean by evidence and scientific proofs. It's not a straightforward 'if this gene is expressed this person will be addicted', due to the nature vs nurture debate. There's certainly enough evidence for geneticists to look for genes which contribute to addiction in the hope of creating novel agents to work on these pathways at some point.

    But the research is ongoing. There are great methodological issues even in identifying which genes may be responsible for different addictions, though many genes have been implicated. If you got uni access these two articles explain it better than i.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...27821/abstract

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...4&searchtype=a
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  7. #6  
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, this will be very helpful
    "Be the change you want to see in the world"
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