Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Addiction has many subtypes

"Dr. Peter Banys, head of the addiction treatment program at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said addiction needs to be considered a disease of many subtypes, similar to leukemia, each linked to a different set of genes or environmental factors. Some people may be hardwired thrill-seekers, he said, while others may fall prey because of depression or 'cognitive processing' disorders. Each subtype might respond to a different medication or counseling approach.

'You've got to be thinking about it as multiple disorders that look the same but are not,' Banys said. 'They're not genetically the same. We already know that there are at least six different chromosomal locations heavily implicated, and many more are turning up.' -- From a San Francisco Chronicle addiction story by its science writer Carl T. Hall, Feb. 11. Source.

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