Facts & Figures

Swedish study: Alcohol sensitivity is inherited

A Swedish researcher has found that people who have alcoholics in their close family get a much bigger kick out of alcohol than others. She believes the reason is that they have a more sensitive reward system. The part of the brain focused on rewards reacts particularly strongly when people are stressed, Science Nordic reports.

“If you get a kick out of drinking and experience euphoria from intoxication, you are at risk,” says Anna Söderpalm-Gordh, a researcher in experimental psychiatry at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg.

About half of the subjects had a close relative who is or was an alcoholic.

The hypothesis is that these individuals have a greater risk of developing an alcohol problem. In order to determine this, Söderpalm-Gordh must study the same individuals over time.

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