Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

NIH to Fund Projects Focused on Genetic, Epigenetic Basis of Drug and Alcohol Co-addiction

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health is planning to fund research into the genetic and epigenetic factors that may promote alcohol and drug co-addiction, according to a funding announcement published this week.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse plan to fund studies that seek to explain how alcohol and stimulant drugs interact at the genetic, epigenetic, cellular, neurocircuitry, and behavioral levels, and how these dynamics are involved in co-addiction.

Although some co-addictions may simply represent "a chance intersection" in which the use of one drug does not influence the use of another, some findings suggest there may be underlying molecular or behavioral factors involved, NIH said in the funding announcement.

"For example, specific genes may be predictive of both alcohol and stimulant use, these drug combinations may produce synergistic subjective drug effects, or the use of one drug may offset the undesired effects of the other," NIH said.

Heritability of alcohol and stimulant addiction has been "convincingly demonstrated," and it appears that genetic factors play a substantial role in susceptibility to these addictions, particularly because family studies have already identified genes that may be involved, NIH noted.

"However, whether there are common genetic factors that influence susceptibility to alcohol and stimulant addiction has not been thoroughly studied, even though alcohol and stimulant addiction frequently co-occur in the same individual," NIH said.

Beyond the genetic and epigenetic levels, this funding also will support research into neurotransmitters and neuropeptide mechanisms, neuroimmune factors, the role of conditioned and discriminative stimuli, and the neuroadaptation of circuits associated with alcohol and drug addiction.

NIH has not set a specific funding limit for the grants.

The Scan

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.

Sequencing Study Leads to Vaccine Target in Bacteria Behind Neonatal Meningitis

Researchers eBioMedicine track down potential vaccine targets with transposon sequencing on mutant bacteria causing neonatal meningitis in mouse models of the disease.

Multiple Myeloma Progression Influenced by Immune Microenvironment Expression

Researchers in NPJ Genomic Medicine compare RNA sequencing profiles of 102,207 individual cells in bone marrow samples from 18 individuals with rapid or non-progressing multiple myeloma.

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.