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February 1992

Current Excitement With D2 Dopamine Receptor Gene Alleles in Substance Abuse

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology (Drs Uhi and Persico) and Etiology Branch (Dr Smith), Addiction Research Center, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, Md, and the Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore (Dr Uhi).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992;49(2):157-160. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1992.01820020068010

Is there a D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) alíele that predisposes to substance abuse? Following the report by Blum and colleagues1 of an association between the Alalíele of the DRD2 gene and alcoholism, a number of laboratories have attempted to replicate and extend studies of this association in substance abusing and control populations.2"6 On September 19 and 20, 1991, the National Institute on Drug Abuse held a conference in Baltimore, Md, entitled "D2 Receptor Alíeles in Substance Abuse: Have We Identified a Relevant Gene?" Workers from laboratories involved in this exciting research area were invited to present their methods and data, assess current knowledge, and discuss future directions. We summarize the findings, interpretations, and recommendations for improving the heuristic potential of future studies on the role of DRD2 gene variants in substanceabuse.

GENETIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO INTERINDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE VULNERABILITY  Individuals differ in their susceptibility to substance abuse. These interindividual differences in vulnerability to alcohol and drugs appear to arise from both genetic and environmental sources. Adoption studies indicate increased frequency of alcoholism and drug abuse among

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