Gene Mutation May Be The Reason Behind Alcoholism

Gene mutation may lead to alcohol consumption

We all know alcoholism (alcohol dependence) is not related on any single element and rather it is dependent on a number of elements like genetic, psychological and environmental. And out of the three genetic element has a major role in alcoholism and still researchers have not completely understood the complex process leading to alcoholism. However, as per a new study, gene mutation may be the probable cause leading person to alcoholism. 

A study done on mice by the Professor Howard Thomas from Imperial College London and their researcher colleagues from University of Sussex, UCL, Newcastle University, and University of Dundee – and the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit at Harwell, shows that a mutation in the gene Gabrb1 made mice choose alcohol over water. Researchers were surprised that even a small mutation in a single gene can have such a drastic impact on a complex expression like alcohol consumption. The mice were even seen working hard to procure alcohol over the mice with normal genes.

For the study Professor Howard slightly modified the mice Gabrb1 gene and studied the effect of mutation on mice action in relation to alcohol. The mutant mice for the trail were given 10% alcohol solution, which is similar to alcohol percentage as in wine. The mutant mice were inclined towards alcohol. The research found that Gabrb1 code for an element known as GABAA receptor, which in turn acknowledge to a chemical called GABA carrying information between neurons. And these mutation were found greatly affecting a part of the brain called nucleus accumbens which control pleasure.

Researchers are now trying to deduce whether such mutation can lead to same inclination towards alcohol in humans too. And may be in future the scientist may alter the gene in a person as a treatment for alcoholism. This might help individuals suffering from alcohol addiction and in this case, the treatment is more quickly and effectively without going to any rehab center.

Source: Nature World News

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