Genetics and epigenetics of alcohol dependence

  • Nieratschker V
  • Batra A
  • Fallgatter A
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Abstract

Alcohol dependence is a severe and common disorder associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Genetic as well as environmental factors are known to modulate susceptibility to alcohol dependence. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that this interaction between the genome and the environment is mediated by epigenetic mechanisms, e.g. DNA methylation at CpG sites. Following an introduction of epigenetic regulation of gene transcription, this review will provide an overview over recent genetic and epigenetic findings in the context of alcohol dependence focusing on human studies. Finally, we will discuss the current limitations of epigenetic studies as well as the implications of genetic and epigenetic findings for the development of better treatment and prevention strategies.

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Nieratschker, V., Batra, A., & Fallgatter, A. J. (2013). Genetics and epigenetics of alcohol dependence. Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, 1(1), 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/2049-9256-1-11

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