(HealthDay News) – Copy number variations (CNVs) on two chromosomes may be associated with alcohol dependence.

To identify additional genetic factors, including CNVs, associated with alcohol dependence, Peng Lin, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a study involving 2,610 non-Hispanic European American genetic samples from participants of the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment. CNVs were identified using three software programs and were then validated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).

The researchers identified two distinct CNVs in 6q14.1 and 5q13.2 that were significantly associated with alcohol dependence. The 5q13.2 region contained multiple candidate genes that have previously been associated with different neurologic disorders, and the 6q14.1 region has been associated with mental retardation and language delay. The CNV in 5q13.2 and a component of the CNV on 6q14.1 were validated by qPCR.

“Our finding of the association between these CNVs and alcohol dependence is encouraging because it identifies regions previously associated with neurological disorders; however, these findings will require replication,” the authors conclude.

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