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Adicciones. 2008;20(2):103-9.

[The genetics of addictions].

[Article in Spanish]


The addictions are common chronic psychiatric diseases which represent a serious worldwide public-health problem. They have a high prevalence and negative effects at individual, family and societal level, with a high sanitary cost. Epidemiological genetic research has revealed that addictions are moderately to highly heritable. Also the investigation has evidenced that environmental and genetic factors contribute to individual differences in vulnerability to addictions. Advances in the neurobiology of addiction joined to the development of new molecular genetic technologies, have led to the identification of a variety of underlying genes and pathways in addiction process, leading to the description of common molecular mechanisms in substance and behaviour dependencies. Identifying gene-environment interactions is a crucial issue in future research. Other major goal in genetic research is the identification of new therapeutic targets for treatment and prevention.

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