Two recent studies bolster research to identify genetic causes for alcoholism:
People with a variation in the tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) gene that codes for the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin biosynthesis were significantly more likely to have a history of suicide attempts, according to a study of 804 Finnish subjects.
Hoping to replicate their earlier study, researchers expanded their sample to include: 268 male alcoholic murderers, violent sexual offenders and fire setters; 256 controls; and 280 relatives. Offenders were classified as impulsive (n=168) or nonimpulsive (n=87). Of these, 680 were interviewed and blind-rated for DSM-III-R diagnoses.