Effects of GABRA2 variation on physiological, psychomotor and subjective responses in the Alcohol Challenge Twin Study

Penelope A. Lind, Stuart MacGregor, Grant W. Montgomery, Andrew C. Heath, Nicholas G. Martin, John B. Whitfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiple reports have identified variation in the GABRA2 gene as contributing to the genetic susceptibility to alcohol dependence. However, both the mechanism behind this association, and the range of alcohol-related phenotypes affected by variation in this gene, are currently undefined. Other data suggest that the risk of alcohol dependence is increased by relative insensitivity to alcohol's intoxicating effects. We have therefore tested whether GABRA2 variation is associated with variation in the subjective and objective effects of a standard dose of alcohol in humans. Data on responses to alcohol from the Alcohol Challenge Twin Study (Martin et al., 1985) have been tested against allelic and haplotype information obtained by typing 41 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in or close to the GABRA2 gene. Nominally significant allelic associations (p < .05, without correction for multiple testing) were found for body sway, motor coordination, pursuit rotor and arithmetical computation tasks, and for the personality dimension of Neuroticism. Because of the large number of phenotypes tested, these possibly significant findings will need to be confirmed in further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

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