Genes influence impulsive behavior, preceding the development of alcoholism

  • Highly impulsive behavior is prevalent in drug addicts and alcoholics compared to those without addictions.
  • New mice findings show that genes influence impulsivity.
  • Impulsivity in humans may also be affected by their genes, influencing their risk for alcoholism.

Numerous studies have shown that highly impulsive behavior – defined as the tendency to choose small, immediate rewards over larger, delayed rewards – is more prevalent in drug addicts and alcoholics compared to individuals without addictions. A new study using mice has found that genes influence impulsivity, which may then contribute to the risk for developing alcoholism.

Results will be published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

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