Original Articles

Determination of the Relationship Between Craving and 4-repeat Allele of DRD4 Gene Polymorphism in the Early Withdrawal Period of Alcohol Use Disorders


Department of Psychiatry, University of Health Sciences Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, University of Health Sciences, Erenköy Training and Research Hospital for Psychiatry and Neurological Diseases, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Yenimahalle Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Üsküdar University Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

Alpha Psychiatry 2021; 22: 73-78
DOI: 10.5455/apd.6889
Read: 1022 Downloads: 142 Published: 18 March 2021

Objective: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a disease with chronic relapses. Risk factors of craving, which is thought to be one of the predictors of relapse, have been studied for a long time. The DRD4 gene is located on chromosome 11p and has a 48-base pair variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphisms in the 3rd exon. This study aimed to investigate if a relationship existed between craving and DRD4 VNTR polymorphism and to determine the predictors of craving. 

Methods: A total of 125 patients with AUD were included in the study. The sociodemographic data form, the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS), and the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS) were applied to the patients. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to determine the DRD4 VNTR variant of all participants in the peripheral blood sample. 

Results: In the 4R/4R homozygous group, it was found that the age at first alcohol use was higher and the scores of the OCDS on the seventh day were lower, but this relationship could not be demonstrated in further statistical analyses. In the stepwise linear regression model, the age at first alcohol use, MAST score, duration of AUD, and delirium tremens history were found to be the predictors of craving. 

Conclusion: DRD4 VNTR polymorphism does not play a role as a predictor of craving. A decrease in age at first alcohol use, an increase in the MAST score, and the presence of delirium tremens were found to be the predictors of craving among the participants of this study. 

Cite this article as: Kaya H, Akkişi Kumsar N, Civan Kahve A, Bolat Kaya Ö, Dilbaz N. Determination of the relationship between craving and 4-repeat allele of DRD4 gene polymorphism in the early withdrawal period of alcohol use disorders. Alpha Psychiatry. 2021;22(2):73-78.

EISSN 2757-8038