Assessing the genetic risk for alcohol use disorders

Tatiana Foroud, Tamara J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The past two decades have witnessed a revolution in the field of genetics which has led to a rapid evolution in the tools and techniques available for mapping genes that contribute to genetically complex disorders such as alcohol dependence. Research in humans and in animal models of human disease has provided important new information. Among the most commonly applied approaches used in human studies are family studies, case-control studies, and genome-wide association studies. Animal models have been aimed at identifying genetic regions or individual genes involved in different aspects of alcoholism, using such approaches as quantitative trait locus analysis, genome sequencing, knockout animals, and other sophisticated molecular genetic techniques. All of these approaches have led to the identification of several genes that seem to influence the risk for alcohol dependence, which are being further analyzed. Newer studies, however, also are attempting to look at the genetic basis of alcoholism at the level of the entire genome, moving beyond the study of individual genes toward analyses of gene interactions and gene networks in the development of this devastating disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-273
Number of pages8
JournalAlcohol Research and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Alcohol dependence
  • Alcoholism
  • Animal models
  • Gene interactions
  • Gene knockout technology
  • Genetic basis of alcoholism
  • Genetic mapping
  • Genetic technology
  • Genetics
  • Human studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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