Found: Gene that makes alcoholics relapse!

Scientists have identified a particular variant of a gene that plays spoiltsport in people's recovery from alcoholism, besides subjecting them to 10 times higher risk of premature death.

"Our research shows that alcohol-dependent individuals, who are also carriers of this gene variant, run 10 times the risk of dying prematurely, compared with the average population," says study co-author Claudia Fahlke, from Sweden's Sahlgrenska Academy.

Sahlgrenska researchers have found that a variant of the dopamine D2 receptor gene is overrepresented in people with severe alcohol dependency, the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism reports.

The gene variant is linked to a number of different negative consequences that can be of vital bearing on the person affected, according to a Sahlegrenska statement.

This gene variant is tied with higher incidence of relapses among these individuals even if they have undergone treatment for their alcohol dependency, the researchers conclude.

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