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Dad's Drinking Affects Future Offspring

Pitt study shows excessive alcohol may cause genetic changes.

PITTSBURGH - When a man chronically drinks to excess, it could affect his future son's use of alcohol. A new study from the  University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine finds that male mice that were chronically exposed to alcohol, before breeding, had male offspring that were less likely to consume alchol, and were more sensistive to its effects.

Previous human studies indicate that alcoholism can run in families, particularly father to son, but  only a few gene variants have been associated with Alcohol Use Disorder and they account for only a small fraction of the risk of inheriting the problem, said senior investigator Gregg E. Homanics, Ph.D.

Scientsits say the study may show it's possible for alcohol to modify the dad's normal genes and influence consumption in his sons, but  not his daughters.

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