SNPs as Co-morbid Factors for Drug Abuse and Ischemic Heart Disease
Drug abuse is a major concern that impacts all levels of society. Generally, drug abuse is considered by many societies, an antisocial or even criminal behavior. Drug abuse is a major health and social issue for its morbidity and mortality, individual and society cost, violence and legal problems involvement. It is widely known that dependence on drugs of abuse is moderately to strongly heritable but, the susceptibility to addiction has a complex genetic basis characterized by phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Candidate genes are both specific genes, related to action and metabolism of drug of abuse, and non-specific genes that encode neurotransmitter systems that could influence the biological activity of the drug.
When two disorders or illnesses occur simultaneously in the same person, they are called comorbid. Surveys show that drug abuse and other mental illnesses are often comorbid. Six out of ten people with a substance use disorder also suffer from another form of mental illness.
In recent years, increasing evidences suggest that genetic and epigenetic factors could be involved in disease comorbidity. Given the central role of the genome and proteome in biology and pathobiology, it is safe to predict that misregulation of specific gene(s) and gene expression defects could influence the disease state and hence play a role in co-morbid disorders. Genes and Gene expression products are essential for the development and function of the brain and heart. DNA, SNPs, polymorphisms and changes in miRNA expression profiles leading to an increased risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders as well as heart failure.
Biological components of substance abuse: Drug/substance abuse and dependence are complex phenomena that defy simple explanation or description. The abusive use of addictive drugs is a medical and social problem as old as recorded human history. Ancient references to drug abuse may be found in the oral and written traditions of virtually all ethnic and cultural groups on the planet.
Genetic components of substance abuse: The abuse liability of a drug is a measure of the likelihood that its use will result in drug dependence. Many factors ultimately play a role in an individual’s drug-taking behavior; nevertheless, the abuse potential of a drug is related to its intrinsic rewarding properties and/ or the neuroadaptive responses that result from its prolonged use. Pharmacological drug criteria e.g. reinforcing effect, tolerance, and physical dependence are drug-related factors; reinforcing effect is essential for significant abuse potential, whereas tolerance and physical dependence are not absolutely required.
Etiological Models of drug abuse and dependence: Certainly, drug abuse is a multifactorial biopsychosocial problem; that is, the pathways to the problem of drug abuse are complex and cannot be explained by simple cause-and-effect models. Researchers have provided evidence for numerous predictors of drug use and misuse e.g. genetics, brain systems and structures, and cognitive processes.
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