Genetic susceptibility to substance dependence

N. Hiroi, S. Agatsuma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite what is often believed, the majority of those who experiment with substances with a dependence potential do not develop dependence. However, there is a subpopulation of users that easily becomes dependent on substances, and these individuals exhibit pre-existing comorbid traits, including novelty seeking and antisocial behavior. There appears to be a genetic basis for the susceptibility to dependence and these comorbid traits. Animal studies have identified specific genes that can alter susceptibility to dependence and response to novelty. The mechanisms underlying the genetic susceptibility to dependence and response to novelty are complex, but genetic susceptibility plays a significant role in the transition from substance use to dependence and from chronic use to addiction. We discuss two models to explain how genetic variations alter dependence susceptibility. Identification of the specific genes involved in these processes would help to identify individuals that are vulnerable to dependence/addiction and to devise novel treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-344
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Comorbidity
  • Gene
  • Novelty/sensation seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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