A new study conducted at the University of Vermont showed that alcohol can be associated with eye color. According to the study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics blue-eyed people have more chances to become addicted to alcohol.
The research team worked on a genetic database which contains information about 10.000 individuals which are European American and blacks. Most of the participants in the study suffered from certain mental disorders including depression, alcohol or drug addiction, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Each individual had at least one mental condition.
1.200 of the participants who had European origin were discovered to show alcohol dependence. The researchers identified a connection between the eye color in their case and repeated the research for three more times. In investigations which followed afterwards they also took into account factors such as the locations, backgrounds, gender and age of the participants.
The in-depth research showed that the genetic component which is responsible for the eye color is connected to the same chromosome of genes linked to excessive alcohol consumption. This led scientist to discover that those who have light-colored eyes such as blue are more likely to develop alcohol addiction than people who have dark-colored eyes.
This is not the first study of this type. A research conducted in 2000 showed that women with blue eyes drank more in a month than women who were brown-eyed. In addition besides the gene that determines the color of the eye there are other genes which are linked to alcohol addiction.
Previous studies have demonstrated that the Nf1 gene (Type One Neurofibromatosis) and the genetic mutation GRM3 are connected with alcoholism. Besides the link with alcohol these genes are also connected with other mental conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Dawei Li, the co-author of the study is an assistant professor at the university in the domain of microbiology and molecular genetics. According to him the researchers who took part in the study will simulate the results to check whether the connection is indeed real. If the association between alcoholism and eye color is once again confirmed they will work on determining the basis of the link, namely to see if alcohol addiction is influenced by genetics or if there are other cultural factors which have an impact on the results.
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