Alcohol / Addiction / Illegal Drugs News

Reducing The Treatment Gap For Mental, Neurological, And Substance Use Disorders

In this week's PLoS Medicine, Shekhar Saxena of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland and colleagues summarize the recent WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) intervention guide that provides evidence-based management recommendations for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders.

This guide is aimed at reducing the treatment gap for MNS disorders, which is more than 75% in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Further details and background material to the guide can be accessed on the WHO website: http://bit.ly/vKPSRF

Gene Impedes Recovery From Alcoholism

People who are alcohol-dependent and who also carry a particular variant of a gene run an increased risk of premature death. This is a recent finding from the interdisciplinary research at the Department of Psychology and the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Researchers in the longitudinal project Göteborg Alcohol Research Project (GARP) have been investigating the dopamine D2 receptor gene and found that a variant of this gene is overrepresented in people with severe alcohol dependency, and that it is linked to a number of different negative consequences that can be of vital significance to the person affected.

Life Experiences Influence Brain Development, Behavior

Scientists have presented new research demonstrating the impact life experiences can have on genes and behavior. The studies examine how such environmental information can be transmitted from one generation to the next - a phenomenon known as epigenetics. This new knowledge could ultimately improve understanding of brain plasticity, the cognitive benefits of motherhood, and how a parent's exposure to drugs, alcohol, and stress can alter brain development and behavior in their offspring.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2011, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

The new findings show that:


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