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Thread: Research has shown conclusively that familial transmission of alcoholism risk is at least in part genetic

  1. #1

    Default Research has shown conclusively that familial transmission of alcoholism risk is at least in part genetic

    A recent contest of ideas, opinions, personal experiences, etc. Has given me cause to open up the broader debate and to challenge some of the personal notions of alcoholism, pertaining more specifically - to what sort of hereditary features, that may be a pertinent consideration for some individuals.

    This commentator's opinion is, that in general... alcoholism, is also one of those spectrum issues.
    Not everyone who has hereditary (environmental and/or genetic - altered brain chemistry, etc)... will necessarily go on to become alcoholics or, suffer the fate of the more prominent shared experiences and such; whether they ever embibe a little or considerable more than some average.

    There are of course other mitigating factors towards predispositions or, triggering circumstances to, this particular and likely other dependency, use or, abuse, substance issues... i.e. depression, anxiety, traumatic events, injury, illness, etc...

    Presumably, one of the articles to follow - may cover that territory as well.

    From: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

    Research has shown conclusively that familial transmission of alcoholism risk is at least in part genetic and not just the result of family environment (1). The task of current science is to identify what a person inherits that increases vulnerability to alcoholism and how inherited factors interact with the environment to cause disease. This information will provide the basis for identifying people at risk and for developing behavioral and pharmacologic approaches to prevent and treat alcohol problems. The advances being made now are built on the discovery 50 years ago of the role in inheritance of DNA, the genetic material in cells that serves as a blueprint for the proteins that direct life processes. Alcoholism research, like other fields, is capitalizing on the scientific spinoffs of this milestone, among them the Human Genome Project and related efforts to sequence the genomes, the complete DNA sequences, of selected animals.
    From: OnHealth
    Gene for Alcoholism is Discovered (GABA & GABRG3)

    Researchers at Washington University and 5 other centers have combined forces to identify a gene that is associated with alcoholism in some families. The scientists focused on a region of chromosome 15 that contains several genes involved in the movement of a brain chemical called GABA between neurons. One version of the gene, GABRG3, was found statistically linked (associated) with alcoholism in the affected families.
    Our Comments: There is a difference between identifying an attitude that runs in a family and discovering a gene that contributes to alcoholism.
    Finding that GABA is involved in alcohol abuse and dependence supports a current theory that predisposition to alcoholism might be inherited as part of a general state of brain overactivation. People at risk for alcoholism may inherit a variety of genes that contribute to this state. Perhaps alcohol normalizes that state of excitability, leading people with a hyperexcited nervous system to use alcohol more frequently in order to normalize brain circuits. That, in turn, would put them at greater risk for developing alcohol dependence.
    Dick says it is important to point out that genetic make-up does not necessarily mean a person is doomed to become an alcoholic.

    Now because this particular debate came up concurrently with issues around suicide, suicidal ideation and particularly, familial Suicidal Completion...
    I'm left to consider at least two aspects pertaining to that.

    1. What the concurrence of alcoholism/Drug use, dependence, abuse to suicide or, comorbid occurrences relate - which came first? and or, does one lend a greater significant predisposition or, opportunity - to acquire the other?
    2. Does the propensity of suicidal activity have a possible genetic involvement as well?

    According to a quick summary of searching for those answers - I'm lead to believe that the suicidal suite, has genetic factors as well as... environmental, socio-cultural, etc... Implications, to some degree of predisposition as well...

    I've for some time now, considered that aspects of suicidal contemplation and processes - due to chemical aspects on the brain... do become a sort of chemical abuse, dependence and may even be similar to the more commonly understood, withdrawal symptoms and issues... this may, in part explain... why some people can't seem to shake the underlying depression and, the frequently resulting suicidal aspects?

    Yes, we do chemical management (pills/Medications) for a variety of brain imbalances yet, what might we better accomplish - to treat the addiction of the naturally-occurring, indwelling - not otherwise externally consumed chemicals... much like we do for those externally consumed chemicals? At least to treat the addiction within, concurrently with the other issues...

    As a primer for now...
    Last edited by Marka; 21-Jul-2017 at 21:55.

  2. #2

  3. #3


    I have been led to believe it isn't directly alcoholism that is genetically linked, it is addiction in general. When you dig deep into these same studies you see this holds true. Yes there is a genitic link of some sort here, that I am not arguing that.

    However, as these studies say, there is also an environmental factor. When a parent is an alcoholic, and their kid is predisposed to addiction, they are more likely to choose alcohol than say, drugs or even suicide. When you remove that kid from the problem parent (early divorce, death, adoption, whatever), the likelihood for alcoholism over other forms of addiction become nearly equal or even none at all.

    Really this is in part the failings of each child for choosing the same path, just as much as it is the parents genitics being at fault. Maybe more so.

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