The risk of developing alcoholism depends on concept of disease pdf factors, such as environment. Since the consumption of alcohol is necessary to develop alcoholism, the availability of and attitudes towards alcohol in an individual’s environment affect their likelihood of developing the disease. 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and asthma.
According to the theory, genes play a strong role in the development of alcoholism. However, female twin studies demonstrate that females have much lower concordance rates than males. Reasons for gender differences may be due to environmental factors, such as negative public attitudes towards female drinkers. Twin studies suggest that males are more likely to have a genetic predisposition for alcoholism.
However, this does not suggest that a male who does have a genetic predisposition will become an alcoholic. Sometimes the individual may never encounter an environmental trigger that leads to alcoholism. Adoption studies also suggest a strong genetic tendency towards alcoholism. Studies on children separated from their biological parents demonstrates that sons of alcoholic biological fathers were more likely to become alcoholic, even though they have been separated and raised by non alcoholic parents. Female show similar results, but to a lesser degree. In artificial selection studies, specific strains of rats were bred to prefer alcohol.
These rats preferred drinking alcohol over other liquids, resulting in a tolerance for alcohol and exhibited a physical dependency on alcohol. Rats that were not bred for this preference did not have these traits. Upon analyzing the brains of these two strains of rats, it was discovered that there were differences in chemical composition of certain areas of the brain. This study suggests that certain brain mechanisms are more genetically prone to alcoholism. The convergent evidence from these studies present a strong case for the genetic basis of alcoholism.