June 2nd, 2022
GENETICS OF SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
Emily DiBlasi, PhD
Recent genetic studies have established that most psychiatric disorders, including substance use disorders (SUDs), are highly polygenic and pleiotropic. This means that thousands of risk alleles across the genome contribute to a person’s overall level of risk or protection in developing these disorders and that many risk alleles are shared across multiple disorders. However, genetic discovery in SUDs is still in the beginning stages and we are very far from widespread clinical application of these data. Currently, only a fraction of the genetic variation influencing SUDs has been accounted for, but the continued discovery of more risk loci will improve our knowledge of addiction biology. An overview of genetic findings for the main SUD phenotypes (alcohol, tobacco, opioids, cannabis and cocaine) will be given and potential areas for future clinical application will be discussed.
After leaving this second presentation by this speaker, participants will be able to:
(1) Outline some of the current research directions and findings around genetics and addictions; and,
(2) Consider these findings in developing treatment plans and present some of the potential future implications and directions in the fields of genetics and addiction.