ASSOCIATION OF THE DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER GENE WITH ALCOHOLISM


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Abstract

AimsIt was investigated whether the allele A9 of the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1; SLC6A3) is associated with alcoholism, delirium tremens (DT), alcohol withdrawal seizures (AWS), or the daily alcohol intake.MethodsA group of 102 healthy subjects and 216 alcoholics, including 97 patients with a history of mild withdrawal symptoms, 65 with a history of AWS and 83 with a history of DT were genotyped and personal data were achieved for statistical evaluation in a case–control design.ResultsThe frequency of individuals carrying the allele A9 [f(A9+)] was significantly higher (P=0.01) in the group of alcoholics [f(A9+)=0.48] compared with healthy controls [f(A9+)=0.32]. There was no significant association of the allele A9 with severe withdrawal symptoms or the daily amount of alcohol consumed.ConclusionsOur results reveal that the allele A9 is strongly associated with alcoholism but not with withdrawal symptoms or daily alcohol intake.

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