Nav: Home

Potential novel biomarker for alcohol dependence

May 29, 2019

(Boston)--Specific molecules (small noncoding microRNAs or miRNAs) found in saliva may be able to predict alcohol dependence as biomarkers.

This is the first study to examine changes in the miRNA expression in the saliva of people with alcohol dependence. Currently, no genetic markers exist to test for this condition.

Alcohol dependence is a common, complex and genetically inuenced disorder. A current diagnosis depends primarily on self-reported symptoms, which is limited by inaccurate recall or reluctance of patients to give accurate information on their drinking behaviors or alcohol-related problems.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) first used miRNA sequencing (miRNA-seq) technology to prole miRNA transcriptomes in the saliva of patients with alcohol dependence and healthy control subjects from both African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) populations. They then identied salivary miRNAs that expressed differently in people with alcohol dependence as compared to the control group. Using a machine learning approach, the researchers were then able to predict alcohol dependency in approximately 80 percent of AAs and 72 percent of EAs.

According to the researchers, there is considerable interest in the identication of biological measurements (or biomarkers) to assess a patient's current or past alcohol use.

"The identication of disease-specic biomarkers in easily accessible body uids such as saliva can result in the early diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This study provides initial evidence that salivary miRNAs are potential biomarkers for this illness," explained corresponding author Huiping Zhang, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at BUSM.
-end-
These findings appear online in the journal Epigenomics.

Funding for this study was provided by grants (R21AA023068 and R01AA025080) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Editor's Note:

HR Kranzler has been an advisory board member, consultant or continuing medical education speaker for Alkermes, Indivior and Lundbeck. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology's Alcohol Clinical Trials Initiative (ACTIVE), which was supported in the last three years by AbbVie, Alkermes, Amygdala Neurosciences, Arbor Pharmaceuticals, Ethypharm, Indivior, Lilly, Lundbeck, Otsuka and Pfizer. HR Kranzler and J Gelernter are named as inventors on PCT patent application #15/878,640 entitled: "Genotype-guided dosing of opioid agonists," filed 24 January 2018.

Boston University School of Medicine

Related Alcohol Articles:

Cuts in alcohol duty linked to 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England
Government cuts to alcohol taxes have had dramatic consequences for public health, including nearly 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England since 2012, according to new research from the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR).
Potential novel biomarker for alcohol dependence
Specific molecules (small noncoding microRNAs or miRNAs) found in saliva may be able to predict alcohol dependence as biomarkers.
Integrated stepped alcohol treatment for people in HIV care improves both HIV & alcohol outcomes
Increasing the intensity of treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) over time improves alcohol-related outcomes among people with HIV, according to new clinical research supported by the National Institutes of Health.
The Lancet:Targets to reduce harmful alcohol use are likely to be missed as global alcohol intake increases
Increasing rates of alcohol use suggest that the world is not on track to achieve targets against harmful alcohol use, according to a study of 189 countries' alcohol intake between 1990-2017 and estimated intake up to 2030, published in The Lancet.
Alcohol-induced brain damage continues after alcohol is stopped
Now, a joint work of the Institute of Neuroscience CSIC-UMH, in Alicante, and the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim, in Germany, has detected, by means of magnetic resonance, how the damage in the brain continues during the first weeks of abstinence, although the consumption of alcohol ceases.
Does alcohol consumption have an effect on arthritis?
Several previous studies have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption is linked with less severe disease and better quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but a new Arthritis Care & Research study suggests that this might not be because drinking alcohol is beneficial.
How genes affect tobacco and alcohol use
A new study gives insight into the complexity of genetic and environmental factors that compel some of us to drink and smoke more than others.
Cutting societal alcohol use may prevent alcohol disorders developing -- Otago research reveals
Society must take collective responsibility to reduce the harm caused by alcohol use disorders, a University of Otago academic says.
The long-term effects of alcohol demand on retail alcohol markets
As new study by the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics examined the determinants of the number of licensed bars, restaurants, and liquor stores across neighborhoods in 53 California cities from 2000 to 2013.
Higher alcohol taxes are cost-effective in reducing alcohol harms
Increasing taxes on alcohol is one of the most cost-effective methods of reducing the harms caused by alcohol consumption, according to research in the new issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
More Alcohol News and Alcohol Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.