A perspective on the search for the causes of alcoholism: Slow down the rush to genetical judgements

W. S. Stone, Irving I Gottesman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A general consensus in the debate on the causes of alcoholism has long been an elusive goal. Although the familial nature of the disorder has been obvious, familial aggregations are consistent with both environmental and genetic modes of transmission. This paper reviews recent evidence suggesting that alcoholism is a heterogeneous disorder resulting from multiple genetic and/or environmental determinants in different vulnerable populations. Within this context, recent findings of an allelic association between a gene coding for the D2 dopamine receptor and the presence of alcoholism are unlikely to reflect a widespread etiological relationship. More generally, a rush to monolithic genetical judgements appears premature in light of current studies demonstrating the multifactorial and heterogeneous nature of alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalNeurology Psychiatry and Brain Research
Volume1
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993

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