Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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The A9 allele of the dopamine transporter gene increases the risk of visual hallucinations during alcohol withdrawal in alcohol-dependent women.

Previous studies have found an association between the A9 allele (nine-copy repeat) of the dopamine transporter (DAT) gene and two complications of alcohol withdrawal, namely delirium tremens (DT) and alcohol withdrawal seizures (AWS). Most of these studies only included male alcohol-dependent patients. Even those that included a small proportion of women did not look at the effect of gender. We compared the frequency of the A9 allele in 64 French Caucasian alcohol-dependent women with a history of alcohol withdrawal complications. Women carrying the A9 allele had more visual hallucinations during withdrawal than those without this allele (P = 0.03). However, women with the A9 allele were not more susceptible to DT or AWS than those without (P = 0.48 and P = 1.00, respectively). Our results suggest that the A9 allele of the DAT gene is involved in vulnerability to alcohol withdrawal complications in women, but that these complications differ from those associated with this polymorphism in alcohol-dependent men.

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