Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders
Manhattan plot of GWAS results indicating the strongest associations between the 22 autosomes, X chromosome, and UPPSP negative urgency. Credit: Sanchez-Roige et al., JNeurosci (2019)

Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date.

Dr. Abraham Palmer and colleagues compared genetic data with self-reported impulsive personality traits and history of drug experimentation from a large sample of older adults of European ancestry participating in personal genetics company 23andMe's research program.

The researchers identified an association between variants in the gene CADM2—previously implicated in risky preference, alcohol consumption, and —and sensation seeking and drug experimentation history. They also identified an association between a gene previously implicated in schizophrenia risk (CACNA1I) and negative urgency—a tendency to act impulsively in the face of adversity.

These findings demonstrate how an individual's genetic makeup may predispose them to engage in risky behavior, including drug use and, potentially, misuse. Additional studies of younger and more diverse populations could provide additional insights into the genetics and consequences of impulsive personality traits.

More information: Genome-wide association studies of impulsive personality traits (BIS-11 and UPPSP) and drug experimentation in up to 22,861 adult research participants identify loci in the CACNA1I and CADM2 genes*, JNeurosci (2019). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2662-18.2019

Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience
Citation: Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders (2019, February 4) retrieved 18 May 2024 from
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