Health Alert 6-25-12

By: Gina Pitisci Email
By: Gina Pitisci Email

June 25, 2012 - The risk of alcoholism can be inherited, and researchers are starting to understand which genes are responsible. Doctors at Washington University analyzed the DNA of 2,600 people and found a group of genetic variations that can influence alcohol addiction. The variations were discovered in a chromosome that has been linked to other neurological disorders. Experts say the discovery could one day help predict who is at a high risk of becoming an alcoholic.

Also, American children are taking fewer antibiotics but more drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. That's coming from a Food and Drug Administration report, published in the journal Pediatrics. It took a look at drugs prescribed in the last decade for children aged 17 and under. Antibiotic prescriptions declined by 14 percent over the course of the study, though they are still the most prescribed medicine for young people. Experts attribute the decline to concern by doctors that overuse will add to the problem of antibiotic resistance. ADHD prescriptions jumped by almost 50 percent.

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