Aug 25, 2021

Genes for Alcohol Use Disorder and Alzheimer’s Risk Overlap: Study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

ABOVE: MAPT, one of the genes linked to both heavy drinking and neurodegenerative diseases, codes for the protein tau (blue in this illustration) inside a neuron. NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING/ NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

Some genetic risk factors for alcohol use disorder overlap with those for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, scientists reported in Nature Communications on August 20. The study, which relied on a combination of genetic, transcriptomic, and epigenetic data, also offers insight into the molecular commonalities among these disorders, and their connections to immune disfunction.

“By meshing findings from genome wide association studies… ith gene expression in brain and other tissues, this new study has prioritized genes likely to harbor regulatory variants influencing risk of Alcohol Use Disorder,” writes David Goldman, a neurogenetics researcher at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in an email to The Scientist. “Several of these genes are also associated with neurodegenerative disorders—an intriguing connection because of alcohol’s ability to prematurely age the brain.”

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