Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (adapted from applicant's abstract): This is an R01 application for
funding to identify chromosomal markers linked to drug dependence. The use of
illicit, highly addictive drugs is a major public health and legal problem in
the United States and around the world. There is an urgent need for new
pharmacological treatment options. Since a substantial fraction of the
vulnerability to abuse drugs has a genetic basis, determining underlying
genetic factors will help identify new targets to therapeutic intervention. One
approach used to identify genetic factors in complex traits is to use
non-parametric linkage analysis, such as the affected sib pair method. However,
it is very difficult to ascertain large numbers of sib pairs concordant for
drug abuse/dependence, especially in subjects who are actively abusing hard
drugs. The investigators will address this problem by ascertaining a relatively
stable group of opiate dependent subjects and their affected siblings in a very
large population of methadone maintenance clients. Opiate addicts enrolled in
methadone programs are perhaps the most stable group of heavily addicted
individuals available for clinical study, since they come to clinic almost
every day to pick up methadone, and meet with counselors, social workers,
psychiatrists and medical doctors frequently. From a pool of 20,000 clients,
they will identify 450 sib pairs who are both being treated in a methadone
program. These subjects will be assessed by SCID and various psychological
measures to identify psychiatric conditions and personality and temperament
traits associated with substance dependence. A two stage, genome-wide search
for genetic loci linked to opiate dependence will take place; the first at a 10
centimorgan resolution. Positive markers will be followed up in a second stage,
1-3 centimorgan survey. By the end of the project, which will coincide with the
completion of the human genome project, they will be able to analyze all of the
specific candidate genes that map to linked markers.
Effective start/end date4/1/012/28/07


  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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