Risk for alcoholism linked to risk for obesity

Addiction researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a risk for alcoholism also may put individuals at risk for obesity, and the association between a family history of alcoholism and obesity risk has become more pronounced in recent years.  

Substance use linked to company we keep

The saying “You are who you hang around with” seems especially true when it comes to alcohol, cigarette and drug use. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are reporting that people who hang out with marijuana, cigarette or alcohol users are not only more likely to do the same, but that exposure allows genetic tendencies for substance use to become more robust.  

Cicero receives Eddy Award for drug abuse research

Theodore J. Cicero, PhD, has been honored by the College of Problems of Drug Dependence with the 2010 Nathan B. Eddy Award for his pioneering research efforts in the field of drug addiction, research and treatment.The Eddy Award is presented annually to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions in drug abuse research.

Addiction study to examine interaction of genes and environment

A psychiatric geneticist at the School of Medicine is one of several principal investigators around the country who will participate in the Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI), a unique collaboration between geneticists and environmental scientists. The $48 million initiative is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Laura Jean Bierut, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine, will head the national study of addiction, looking both at genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the problem.

Studies identify DNA regions linked to nicotine dependence

Americans are bombarded with antismoking messages, yet at least 65 million of us continue to light up. Genetic factors play an important role in this continuing addiction to cigarettes, suggest scientists at the School of Medicine. They show that certain genetic variations can influence smoking behaviors and contribute to a person’s risk for nicotine dependence.

Studies identify DNA regions linked to nicotine dependence

Americans are bombarded with antismoking messages, yet at least 65 million of us continue to light up. Genetic factors play an important role in this continuing addiction to cigarettes, suggest scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. They show that certain genetic variations can influence smoking behaviors and contribute to a person’s risk for nicotine dependence.

Washington University researchers assessing rates and risks of gambling

WUSM researchers have developed a diagnostic tool for identifying pathological gambling disorder.More than 80 percent of the U.S. population gambles at some time in their lives. It might be the lottery, bingo or poker. Most never need treatment for problem gambling, but others lose control and lose their houses or cars and damage family relationships as a result of compulsive gambling. Little is known about why people gamble and how to predict who is likely to become a pathological gambler, but Washington University researchers have developed a diagnostic tool for identifying pathological gambling disorder, and they’re beginning to learn who is at risk.

Washington University researchers assessing rates and risks of gambling

WUSM researchers have developed a diagnostic tool for identifying pathological gambling disorder.More than 80 percent of the U.S. population gambles at some time in their lives. It might be the lottery, bingo or poker. Most never need treatment for problem gambling, but others lose control and lose their houses or cars and damage family relationships as a result of compulsive gambling. Little is known about why people gamble and how to predict who is likely to become a pathological gambler, but Washington University researchers have developed a diagnostic tool for identifying pathological gambling disorder, and they’re beginning to learn who is at risk.

Sensitivity to alcohol affected by genes active in neurons

In these brain sections of neonatal mice exposed to ethanol, mice deficient in certain enzymes (right) exhibit much more neurodegeneration as indicated by the black material in the dying neurons.Can you blame your genes if you can’t handle your liquor? A new study conducted at the School of Medicine may pave the way to finding out. Researchers found that the brain’s response to alcohol is partially under the influence of two genes. The genes, studied in both adult and newborn mice, were found to affect sensitivity to alcohol intoxication, interest in alcohol consumption and risk of developmental brain damage from alcohol.