WEEKLY UPDATE: August 9, 2019
SUMMARY: Discovery of 46 new loci associated with alcohol consumption and links to neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.
DESCRIPTION: Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the main causes of death and disability worldwide with a mortality rate of up to 2.2% and 6.8% for women and men, respectively. Alcohol consumption is a heritable complex trait, but only a few associated genetic variants have been identified to date. This genome-wide association examined 480,842 individuals of European ancestry and discovered 46 new genetic variants associated with alcohol consumption. The study also estimated these variants explain about 9% of the heritability of alcohol consumption. Furthermore, multiple variants were shown to affect the activity of genes in the brain and many have been previously found to be associated with neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. The study comes to the conclusion that alcohol consumption and neuropsychiatric disorders share a genetic mechanism.
DID YOU KNOW? You may be able to decrease your alcohol intake by setting a strict drinking limit for yourself, not keeping alcohol where you live, keeping busy, and asking for support. [SOURCE]