chapter  12
Neurogenetics of Compulsive Disease: Neuronutrients as Adjuncts to Recovery
Pages 45

Compulsive disease, particularly alcoholism, is a major and devastating health problem with an unknown etiological base. Most recently, the question of whether environc ment or heredity is the prime determinant for the development of compulsive disease continues to receive extensive attention worldwide. In this regard, the United States Supreme Court sided with the notion that alcoholism was not a disease (1raynor v. Turnage, 1988). On the other side, Blum and colleagues found a high association of the dopamine D2 receptor gene in alcoholism (Blum, et al. & Cook, 1990). This is the first specific gene with such a significant correlation that might confer susceptibility on at least one form of alcoholism. Although more research is required further to confirm these findings, for now this research favors the view that alcoholism is a biogenetic disorder triggered by the environment. However, in terms of treating the neurochemistry

of chemically dependent individuals as it relates to certain behavioral anomalies, therapists must begin to understand its complexity.