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Alcohol research

Irish Affected Sib Pair Study of Alcohol Dependence

This project aims to identify the specific loci of genes, which may influence susceptibility to alcohol dependence. Previous studies show that genetic factors play an important role in the aetiology of alcohol dependence. Sibling pairs, where both individuals have a history of alcohol dependence, were interviewed and blood and brush samples of cheek cells for DNA analysis were taken.

The Alcohol Research Project started in later 1997 in collaboration with the Medical College of Virginia, USA. The Co-principal investigators are Dr Demot Walsh and Professor Kenneth Kendler. In mid 1998, the scope of the Project was extended (to include the whole island) and the number of researchers increased.

During the course of the project, which concluded in January 2003, interviews were conducted with 527 families to include 1,474 individuals. The main focus of the interview concerned the participants use of alcohol, but questions were also asked regarding tobacco use, drug use, mood disorder (depression) and conduct disorder (ASPD). Where possible a brief interview and DNA sample was obtained from both parents. The next phase of the project involves the analysis of the data.