Integrative Neuroscience Research

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Commentary - Integrative Neuroscience Research (2017) Volume 1, Issue 1

Commentary: Possible involvement of ACSS2 gene in alcoholism

Alcoholism is a psychiatric disorder of multifactorial etiology, wherein interaction between genetic and environmental factors results in heightened alcohol seeking behavior. However, there is still much to be explored and understood about how imbalances between the biological-psychological-social axes can influence the quality an individual's mental health. The necessity to preserve an organism's homeostasis is noteworthy, an idea already proclaimed by Claude Bernard (the fixity of the inner environment is the condition of the free life), how the sum of events throughout an individual's life contributes to the transition between a healthy statesa (an overlap of order and internal equilibrium) and a non-healthy statesa (an overlap of disorder and internal disequilibrium). In addition, Himmelsbach paid attention to the importance of homeostatic adaptation (by changing receptor subunit composition, for example) related to tolerance to and withdrawal from drugs of abuse. More recently, P Sterling and J Eyer proposed the term allostasis to refer to the existence of a dynamic internal equilibrium, which better adjusts to change observed in the organism's function. Pharmacological and genetic mechanisms associated with neuromodulator also corroborate the above idea since signal transduction adjustments and epigenetic modifications make it possible to influence an individual's behavior, at least in part and with probable delay (i.e., temporal difference between behavioral and biological change).

Author(s): Andrea Frozino Ribeiro

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