British researchers from King’s College London have identified a gene that is pushing people toward excessive drinking.
This is a version of the RASGRF-2 gene that increases the level of dopamine, the production of which is caused by drinking alcoholic beverages. Scientists conducted a brain scan of 663 adolescents.
It turned out that a certain version of the gene increased the strength of the response to dopamine during the proposed tasks, which were associated with the anticipation of the award. This feeling increased activity in the ventral striatum, a brain area associated with dopamine release.
Two years later, volunteers described their attitude to alcohol. It turned out that the presence of a defective version of the gene led to the fact that adolescents drank more and more often.
Experts believe that RASGRF-2 is one of many genes responsible for how strongly alcohol causes the sensation of receiving an award, and ultimately, joy.
Experts noted that at this stage, studies were conducted only among adolescents. It is also necessary to study this relationship from the perspective of the distant future.