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Published on Aug 10, 2016
Presented by Dr. Rohan Palmer of Brown University. Molecular genetic research has supported the use of a multivariate phenotype representing alcohol dependence in studies of genetic association. One recent study found that additive genetic effects on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder version four (DSM-IV) alcohol dependence criteria overlap, describing a common pathway model that consists of a single latent variable representing alcohol dependence (Palmer et al. 2015). Common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) explained 31% of variance in this latent factor. However, these findings were conducted using a sample of European Americans and minimal research exists to provide insight into whether this finding is consistent in a population of African descent. Using a large sample of individuals from European and African ancestry, we investigated the extent to which additive genetic variance tagged by common SNPs explain variation in alcohol dependence and whether these markers are shared across the two populations.