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Behav Genet. 2013 Sep;43(5):386-401. doi: 10.1007/s10519-013-9604-z. Epub 2013 Aug 21.

Genetic and neurophysiological correlates of the age of onset of alcohol use disorders in adolescents and young adults.

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1
Henri Begleiter Neurodynamics Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Ave., Brooklyn, NY, USA. chorlian@hbnl.downstate.edu

Abstract

Discrete time survival analysis was used to assess the age-specific association of event-related oscillations (EROs) and CHRM2 gene variants on the onset of regular alcohol use and alcohol dependence. The subjects were 2,938 adolescents and young adults ages 12-25. Results showed that the CHRM2 gene variants and ERO risk factors had hazards which varied considerably with age. The bulk of the significant age-specific associations occurred in those whose age of onset was under 16. These associations were concentrated in those subjects who at some time took an illicit drug. These results are consistent with studies which associate greater rates of alcohol dependence among those who begin drinking at an early age. The age specificity of the genetic and neurophysiological factors is consistent with recent studies of adolescent brain development, which locate an interval of heightened vulnerability to substance use disorders in the early to mid teens.

PMID:
23963516
PMCID:
PMC4110722
DOI:
10.1007/s10519-013-9604-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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