Chicago—Kicking an alcohol or nicotine
habit is rarely easy. But scientists analyzing the effects of various genes
in addiction and recovery are finding that some individuals may have genetic
variants that make it particularly difficult to overcome these dependencies.
New findings presented at the American Psychological Society's annual
convention in May implicate genetic variants that affect cell surface receptors
and a neurotransmitter involved in the brain's reward system. The hope is
that such findings will one day enable scientists to develop new and better
ways to help patients with alcohol or smoking problems.
Hampton T. Genes Harbor Clues to Addiction, Recovery. JAMA. 2004;292(3):321-322. doi:10.1001/jama.292.3.321