Researcher at Bayer University claims to have discovered certain gene that modulates stress responses, which could cause some people to take drugs and consume alcohol.
Dr. Doug Matthews, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor, has found a small section on chromosome one that is responsive to a particular type of stress in animal models.
He then identified the genes in this region that could be responsible for the behavioral response to stress, like alcohol consumption.
"This study gives us insight into a common genetic pathway for stress that might be critical in modulating drug taking behavior, especially alcohol consumption since many people report drinking alcohol to reduce stress," said Matthews.
"It also gave us some ideas on where to look in the brain for drug taking behavior and it provided a method to do so," he added.
According to Matthews, the researchers used a unique method to do the project by selecting chromosomes from one particular strain of mice, and embed them inside the background of a host strain.
He said that this sophisticated genetic manipulation allowed them to target specific chromosomes so they could get a much more powerful genetic answer.
The findings have appeared in the journal Behavior Genetics.