COGA Blog

Here is a place to read about research findings from COGA. You can learn about the development and progression of AUD, risk and protective factors, genetic findings, treatment for and recovery from AUD, disorders that sometimes occur along with AUD, and more. A complete list of the scientific papers that have been published using COGA data can be found here.

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The Amyloid Precursor Protein Modulates the Position and Length of the Axon Initial Segment

This study delves into the complex involvement of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). While APP is primarily known for its connection to the production of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides, a characteristic of AD brains, this research uncovers a different facet of its functionality. It reveals a unique link between APP and neuronal [...]

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RNA Alternative Splicing Impacts The Risk For Alcohol Use Disorder

Researchers investigate how RNA alternative splicing, a process where genes create different versions of their instructions, might be linked to alcohol use disorder (AUD). Previous research found changes in RNA splicing in the brains of individuals with AUD, but it’s unclear if these changes contribute to the disorder. The challenge is the lack of large-scale [...]

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Alcohol Reverses The Effects Of KCNJ6 (GIRK2) Noncoding Variants On Excitability Of Human Glutamatergic Neurons

Researchers focused on variations within the KCNJ6 gene, which encodes the GIRK2 protein responsible for regulating cell excitability, including responses to alcohol. To investigate this further, the study utilizes a human neuron model system, including individuals with the ERO-associated allelic variant in KCNJ6 and diagnosed alcohol dependence, as well as those without the variant and unaffected [...]

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Specific Diagnostic Criteria Identify Those At High Risk For Progression From ‘Preaddiction’ To Severe Alcohol Use Disorder

This study examined the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD), emphasizing the need for a more nuanced approach beyond simple criterion counts. Current diagnostic systems, such as the DSM-5, rely on counting the number of criteria met, without considering the heterogeneity among criteria. By analyzing data from a large cohort, the study highlights the importance of [...]

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Do Personality Characteristics Predict Future Alcohol Problems After Considering Current Demography, Substance Use, And Alcohol Response?

Certain personality traits have been identified as predictors of future alcohol-related issues. However, these traits are also connected to various demographic and substance-related factors and few studies have investigated whether personality traits continue to predict alcohol problems when accounting for current demographic and substance-related factors.   This study followed 414 non-alcohol use disorder (AUD) drinkers [...]

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Genomic Risk For Post-traumatic Stress Disorder In Families Densely Affected With Alcohol Use Disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that occurs after experiencing a traumatic event. Although many people are exposed to trauma, only a small percentage develop PTSD. Studies that look at the entire genome (genome-wide association studies or GWAS) have found specific genetic signs related to PTSD in both civilian and military groups. However, studies [...]

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Upregulated GIRK2 Counteracts Ethanol-induced Changes In Excitability And Respiration In Human Neurons

This research identified specific genetic variations in the KCNJ6 gene linked to changes in brain activity measured through electroencephalogram (EEG) frontal theta event-related oscillations (θ-EROs) during cognitive tasks. These variations are associated with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and are considered to be a sign of susceptibility to AUD. The KCNJ6 gene encodes the GIRK2 protein, [...]

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Predicting Alcohol-related Memory Problems In Older Adults: A Machine Learning Study With Multi-domain Features

Researchers aimed to understand memory problems in older adults with a history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) using a machine learning approach. Comparisons were made between a group of 94 adults aged 50-81 with alcohol-induced memory problems (Memory group) to a matched Control group without memory issues. The Random Forests model identified specific features from [...]

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Association Of Parental Divorce, Discord, And Polygenic Risk With Children’s Alcohol Initiation And Lifetime Risk For Alcohol Use Disorder

Researchers conducted a study to understand how parental divorce and discord, along with genetic factors, influence alcohol-related outcomes in children. They analyzed data from European and African ancestry participants and found that genetic risk for alcohol problems interacts with parental divorce and discord, affecting the age of alcohol initiation and the risk of alcohol use [...]

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Associations Between Cannabis Use, Polygenic Liability for Schizophrenia, and Cannabis-related Experiences in a Sample of Cannabis Users

Researchers investigate the relationship between genetic risk for schizophrenia and cannabis-related experiences. A study using a sample of 4,832 individuals from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) who had a history of alcohol use disorders was conducted. The participants’ cannabis involvement, including cannabis use disorder (CUD), was measured, and their polygenic risk [...]

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