U.S Scientists are reporting that drug addiction treatment is impacted by the genetic make-up and how long the person has been using their drug of choice.
Drug addicts all have different genetic make-up, and researchers from the Brookhaven National Laboratory found that the lower the gray matter density the fewer neurons there are in the areas of the brain that are essential for self-control, decision making, learning and memory. This type of research supports that genes can affect the severity of addiction.
Nelly Alia-Klein who is a medical scientist said in a Brookhaven news release that “The results suggest that addicted individuals with low MAOA [monoamine oxidase A] genotype may need a different kind of treatment than other addicted individuals who carry the high MAOA genotype.” Additional studies need to be done before treatment strategies change.
The study focused on 40 men who were addicted to cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettes, and also 42 men who weren’t addicts. This study showed that the longer the duration of substance abuse the lower amount of gray matter in frontal areas of the brain which are responsible for decision making and self control. Also learning and memory are affected.