COGA Genome Scan Suggests Linkage On Chromosomes 1,2,4, And 7

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Theodore Reich, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and colleagues at that university and others* in the NIAAA-supported Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) report in this month's Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Volume 81, Number 3) highly suggestive evidence on chromosomes 1 and 7 and more modest evidence on chromosome 2 for linkage to alcohol dependence (commonly termed alcoholism) vulnerability. Reporting from a whole-genome scan of families with high alcoholism prevalence, the researchers also found evidence for linkage to a protective locus on chromosome 4 near the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) genes, a result similar to that from an independent genome scan conducted by NIAAA's Laboratory of Neurogenetics and reported in the same journal issue.

The COGA study assessed 987 individuals from 105 multigenerational families selected through 23 female and 82 male adults in metropolitan inpatient and outpatient alcoholism treatment programs. Each of the 105 families contained at least three first-degree relatives with alcohol dependence. Like alcoholics in the general U.S. population, the study group was predominantly Caucasian and evidenced considerable comorbidity with other psychiatric diagnoses.

The researchers assessed participants according to DSM-III-R and Feighner diagnostic systems** operationalized through the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA) lifetime psychiatric interview designed for this study. They then examined 291 DNA markers at an average interval of 13.8 centiMorgans using state-of-the-art statistical methods to detect alcoholism susceptibility loci across affected, unaffected, and discordant (one affected and one unaffected) sibling pair groups. While, by the strictest analytic criteria, no locus was definitive for linkage, loci on chromosomes 1, 2, 4, and 7 were of sufficient strength to warrant fur

Contact: NIAAA Press Officer
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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