Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Genes May Affect Severity of Drug Addiction

Genes May Affect Severity of Drug Addiction

03/08/11

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment for drug addiction is affected by a person's genetic makeup and the duration of substance abuse, U.S. scientists report.

A research team at the Brookhaven National Laboratory found that drug addicts who have a certain genetic makeup have lower gray matter density -- and therefore fewer neurons -- in areas of the brain that are important for decision-making, self-control, learning and memory.

"This research shows that genes can influence the severity of addiction," study co-author Nelly Alia-Klein, a medical scientist, said in a Brookhaven news release. "The results suggest that addicted individuals with low MAOA [monoamine oxidase A] genotype may need a different kind of treatment than other addicted individuals who carry the high MAOA genotype."

She said that additional study is needed before treatment strategies should change. "However, addiction treatment professionals and others who manage addicted individuals, such as probation officers and judges, should be informed of these and other new findings in the neurobiology of drug addiction," Alia-Klein said.

The study, which included 40 men addicted to cocaine and 42 non-addicted men, also found that the longer someone abuses cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes, the lower the amount of gray matter in frontal areas of the brain (responsible for decision-making and self-control) and the hippocampus (responsible for learning and memory).

The finding, published March 7 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, suggests that ending drug use may help protect people against such brain changes.

"Only males were part of this study, and therefore it is important for future studies to examine these genetic and brain effects in females as well," Klein said. "Also, further studies will have to be done to track these gene-brain behavior patterns throughout a life span that influence the volume of the brain's neurons."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about drug addiction treatments.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital First in Region to Use New da Vinci Xi Surgical System
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >