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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eye Color May Play A Part In Addiction

The mapping of the human genome has uncovered several elements of addiction, and it turns out that one’s eye color may make certain people more susceptible to alcohol dependence. New research has found that the genetic components that dictate peoples' eye color line up along the same genes linked to excessive alcohol use, HealthDay reports. Individuals with blue eyes may be more likely to develop alcoholism.

Researchers at the University of Vermont used a genetic database of more than 10,000 people with at least one mental illness. The majority of those in the genetic database were black or European Americans. Many in the sample had more than one mental health disorder, such as:
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Substance Use Disorder
Over 1,200 people of European descent were identified as having suffered from alcohol dependence, according to the article. The researchers saw a connection between eye color and the disorder which prompted further analysis. They found that European Americans with blue eyes had a higher rate of alcohol dependence, compared to people with brown eyes. The findings could help scientists discover more about the origins of addiction and psychiatric disorders.

"This suggests an intriguing possibility that eye color can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis," said study co-author Arvis Sulovari, a doctoral student in cellular, molecular and biological sciences at the University of Vermont.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Part B).

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