Breaking barriers in the genomics and pharmacogenetics of drug addiction

MK Ho, D Goldman, A Heinz, J Kaprio, MJ Kreek, MD Li, MR Munafo, RF Tyndale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Drug addiction remains a substantial health issue with limited treatment options currently available. Despite considerable advances in the understanding of human genetic architecture, the genetic underpinning of complex disorders remains elusive. On the basis of our current understanding of neurobiology, numerous candidate genes have been implicated in the etiology and response to treatment for different addictions. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have also identified novel targets. However, replication of these studies is often lacking, and this complicates interpretation. The situation is expected to improve as issues such as phenotypic characterization, the apparent "missing heritability," the identification of functional variants, and possible gene-environment (G x E) interactions are addressed. In addition, there is growing evidence that genetic information can be useful in refining the choice of addiction treatment. As genetic testing becomes more common in the practice of medicine, a variety of ethical and practical challenges, some of which are unique to drug addiction, will also need to be considered.
Translated title of the contributionBreaking barriers in the genomics and pharmacogenetics of drug addiction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779 - 791
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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