The genetics of alcohol dependence: Perils and promises

Mathews, Rebecca, Carter, Adrian and Hall, Wayne (2010). The genetics of alcohol dependence: Perils and promises. In: Special Issue: Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2010. Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2010, Canberra, Australia, (2-85). November 28-December 1, 2010. doi:10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00261.x


Author Mathews, Rebecca
Carter, Adrian
Hall, Wayne
Title of paper The genetics of alcohol dependence: Perils and promises
Conference name Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2010
Conference location Canberra, Australia
Conference dates November 28-December 1, 2010
Proceedings title Special Issue: Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2010   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Review   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00261.x
ISSN 0959-5236
1465-3362
Volume 29 Suppl 1
Issue Supp. 1
Start page 2
End page 85
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Rapid advancements in the technology used to study the human genome has led to the identification of a number of genetic variants thought to increase susceptibility to alcohol dependence or influence individual’s treatment responses (e.g. to naltrexone). Optimistic predictions have been made about the potential clinical applications of such knowledge: predictive genetic screening might be used to identify persons at a greater risk of developing alcohol dependence and prevent them from doing so; while pharmacogenetic approaches may allow clinicians to match alcohol dependent persons to more effective treatments. Identifying genes predictive of alcohol dependence or treatment response carries potential harms. An overemphasis of the genetic basis of alcohol dependence could reduce an individual’s belief in their ability to moderate their alcohol consumption or abstain from alcohol. Medicalising alcohol dependence may lead to a greater focus on individual medical treatment at the expense of public health interventions that more broadly reduce the harms of all alcohol consumption, such as increased taxation and raising the minimum legal drinking age. Access to genetic information on alcohol dependence by third parties such as health insurance companies, may also be a significant concern and a potential source of discrimination. This paper critically evaluates the potential benefits and possible harms of clinical applications of genetics research on susceptibility to alcohol dependence. We will review the current evidence regarding the genetics of alcohol dependence; the feasibility of predictive genetic screening and pharmacogenetic approaches to alcohol dependence; and the ethical and social policy issues associated with such uses.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published under Abstracts of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2010

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 06 Feb 2011, 00:09:59 EST