Aim. Neurochemical, pharmacological and physiological studies indicate the important role of 5-HT in alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal syndrome. We tested the possible association between the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and the intensity of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
Method. The group of 96 alcohol dependent patients, diagnosed according to ICD-10 criteria were examined. The study included 187 healthy volunteers as control subjects. To assess the severity of withdrawal symptoms we used the CIWA-Ar scale.
Results. Based on the statistical analysis, we found the association between the 5-HTT_LPR gene polymorphism and the CIWA results. Individuals with low transcriptional activity of the 5-HTT gene promoter region proved to have significantly higher severity of withdrawal symptoms (p < 0,004). There were no significant differences in frequency of the genotypes and alleles between alcoholics and controls.
Conclusions. Presented results enable us to formulate the hypothesis that the 5-HTT gene polymorphism affects the severity of withdrawal syndrome.