The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism: Overview

Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are common conditions influenced by both genetics and the environment. They can lead to various problems related to excessive alcohol consumption. To comprehensively investigate the causes and consequences of alcohol-related milestones, including AUD and associated psychiatric conditions, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) was established in 1989. 

COGA employs a family-centered approach, encompassing a diverse sample of approximately 25% self-identified African Americans and 52% females. This extensive dataset comprises information from 17,878 individuals, ranging in age from 7 to 97, organized into 2,246 families, some of which have a high prevalence of AUD. Participants have provided responses to various questionnaires, including those related to personality traits, as well as the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA), which gathers data on psychiatric diagnoses, conditions, and associated behaviors, such as parental monitoring. Additionally, 9,871 individuals have undergone electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings to assess brain function, while 12,009 individuals have been genotyped using genome-wide association study (GWAS) arrays. Furthermore, COGA conducts a series of functional genomics investigations to explore the specific cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to AUD.  

This overview serves an outline of COGA’s evolution as a scientific resource over the past three decades, with further reviews offering detailed insights into behavioral and clinical, brain function, genetic, and functional genomics data. COGA’s significance extends to its policies on data sharing, efforts to disseminate scientific findings through a dedicated project website, and its potential to nurture emerging researchers and foster independent research initiatives, thereby broadening the impact of gene-brain-behavior investigations in the realm of AUD. This is the first installment of a 5 paper seriest. Click the link below for more information. 

Agrawal A, Brislin SJ, Bucholz KK, Dick D, Hart RP, Johnson EC, Meyers J, Salvatore J, Slesinger P, Coga Collaborators, Almasy L, Foroud T, Goate A, Hesselbrock V, Kramer J, Kuperman S, Merikangas AK, Nurnberger JI, Tischfield J, Edenberg HJ, Porjesz B (2023) The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism: Overview. Genes, Brain and Behavior, e12864. PMID: 37736010DOI: 10.1111/gbb.12864.