Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Recent Efforts to Dissect the Genetic Basis of Alcohol Use and Abuse.

  • Author(s): Sanchez-Roige, Sandra;
  • Palmer, Abraham A;
  • Clarke, Toni-Kim
  • et al.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is defined by several symptom criteria, which can be dissected further at the genetic level. Over the past several years, our understanding of the genetic factors influencing alcohol use and abuse has progressed tremendously; numerous loci have been implicated in different aspects of alcohol use. Previously known associations with alcohol-metabolizing enzymes (ADH1B, ALDH2) have been replicated definitively. In addition, novel associations with loci containing the genes KLB, GCKR, CRHR1, and CADM2 have been reported. Downstream analyses have leveraged these genetic findings to reveal important relationships between alcohol use behaviors and both physical and mental health. AUD and aspects of alcohol misuse have been shown to overlap strongly with psychiatric disorders, whereas aspects of alcohol consumption have shown stronger links to metabolism. These results demonstrate that the genetic architecture of alcohol consumption only partially overlaps with the genetics of clinically defined AUD. We discuss the limitations of using quantitative measures of alcohol use as proxy measures for AUD, and we outline how future studies will require careful phenotype harmonization to properly capture the genetic liability to AUD.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View