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Medical News & Perspectives
July 21, 2004

Genes Harbor Clues to Addiction, Recovery

JAMA. 2004;292(3):321-322. doi:10.1001/jama.292.3.321

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 .