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Medical News and Perspectives
May 24/31, 2006

Genome Provides Clues on Addiction

JAMA. 2006;295(20):2345-2346. doi:10.1001/jama.295.20.2345

Scientists scouring the human genome for addiction-related genes have identified new links between an individual's genetic makeup and their risk of becoming dependant on opioids.

While epidemiological studies have provided strong evidence of a genetic component to an individual's risk of becoming dependent on opioids, finding the precise genetic roots of the addiction has proved difficult. Some scientists are seeking an answer by using information about the disorder's molecular basis to identify candidate genes. But this approach is unlikely to provide an exhaustive list of genes related to the disorder, so scientists also are scanning the entire genome in the hopes of finding genes that may play a less obvious role in opioid dependence.

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