Influence of impulsiveness, suicidality, and serotonin genes on treatment outcomes in alcohol dependence - a preliminary report
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Arch Psych Psych 2007;9(3):13-18
Aim: The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for relapse by investigating relationships among suicidality, impulsiveness, genetic markers of serotonin activity, and drinking outcomes in alcohol-dependent patients. Subjects and methods: Ninety alcohol dependent patients were followed for 12 months after a baseline assessment was performed, which included an evaluation of suicidality and impulsiveness. DNA samples were collected to investigate polymorphisms of genes involved in synthesis and activity of the serotonin system. Genetic polymorphisms and baseline measures of suicidality and impulsiveness were analysed as predictors of relapse. Results: Relapse rates were significantly higher among patients with a history of suicidal attempts recorded at the baseline assessment. Impulsiveness was not directly related to relapse. The genetic analysis showed that patients with the G/G genotype in the 5HTR1A gene polymorphism were more likely to relapse, whereas patients with the C/C genotype were more likely to abstain. Moreover, there was a strong trend for an association between the G/G genotype and a history of suicide attempts. Conclusions: Preliminary analyses suggested that a history of suicidality predicted relapse in alcoholic patients while controlling for other variables. Polymorphisms of genes involved in serotonergic function also contributed to a higher risk of relapse in alcohol dependent patients. These preliminary analyses as well as other potential relationships between the variables of interest require continued investigation with a larger sample size.
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