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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ionotropic glutamate receptor gene GRIK3 SER310ALA functional polymorphism is related to delirium tremens in alcoholics.

Upregulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission resulting from chronic ethanol intoxication may cause a hyperexcitable state during alcohol withdrawal, which may lead to seizures and delirium tremens. The aim of our study was to evaluate the association between a history of alcohol withdrawal-induced seizures and delirium tremens, and a functional polymorphism (Ser310Ala) of the GRIK3 gene coding for the glutamatergic kainate receptor subunit GlurR7 in a sample of well-characterized alcoholics compared to controls. In total, 233 patients meeting DSM-IV alcohol dependence criteria and 309 controls, all of German descent, were investigated. GRIK3 functional polymorphism was determined using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) of lymphocyte DNA. History of alcohol withdrawal-induced delirium tremens and seizures were obtained using the SSAGA (Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism). Data were cross-checked with in-patients' clinical files. While a significant relationship between history of delirium tremens and the Ser310 allele was detected, no significant results were obtained for alcohol withdrawal-related seizures. Although this result is suggestive for a significant role of this polymorphism in the pathogenesis of delirium tremens in alcohol-dependent individuals, further investigation and confirmation are warranted.[1]


  1. Ionotropic glutamate receptor gene GRIK3 SER310ALA functional polymorphism is related to delirium tremens in alcoholics. Preuss, U.W., Zill, P., Koller, G., Bondy, B., Hesselbrock, V., Soyka, M. Pharmacogenomics J. (2006) [Pubmed]
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