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Alcohol and the brain

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2002 - Spring


Since the 1950s, when Yale scientist E.M. Jellinek pioneered the notion that alcoholism is a disease, investigators have discovered links between certain genes and problem drinking. Now, with a $9 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, investigators at Yale, the University of Texas and Columbia University will explore the biochemistry of a brain circuit that appears to make some people more likely to become alcoholics; they will also look for ways to apply that knowledge to the treatment of the disease. “With new imaging tools to look at brain chemicals, and molecular genetics studies, we now have an opportunity to observe broad clinical implications from molecular neuroscience,” said John H. Krystal, M.D. ’84, HS ’88, the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry. Krystal, the principal investigator on the five-year grant, said it will fund the new Center for Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism at Yale.

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