Alcohol misuse represents worldwide an important risk factor for death and disability. Excessive
alcohol consumption is widely diffused in different ethnicities and alcohol use is part of the lifestyle of both
young and old people. The genetic basis of alcohol dependence concerning ethanol metabolism and the pathways
of reward circuits are well known. The role of genetic variants in the neurobiology of addiction as well
as in response to medication in alcoholism therapy still represents an intriguing argument that needs to be deeply analyzed
and explained. The molecular approach to the study of these aspects could be difficult because of the large number of
genes and variations involved. Our work is intended to offer an overview of genes and variants involved in alcohol addiction
and pharmacogenetics. Our aim is to delineate a molecular approach strategy to look at alcohol dependence from a
genetic and applicative point of view. The indications provided in this work should be of help for those who wish to undertake
a molecular study of this multifactorial disease.
Keywords: Alcohol addiction, genetic variants, neurobiology, pharmacogenetics, SNPs, therapy.
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