Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Addiction Risk Related to Impulsivity and Its Neurobiological Substrates

  • Michelle M. Jacobs
  • Didier Jutras-Aswad
  • Jennifer A. DiNieri
  • Hilarie C. Tomasiewicz
  • Yasmin L. Hurd


Drug addiction is a complex disorder characterized by significant individual variability. Several lines of evidence suggest that addiction risk is linked to a number of factors including genetics and adverse environmental events during development as well as behavioral traits such as reward sensitivity and impulsivity. Together, these factors appear to influence the initiation of drug use, the transition from controlled to compulsive use that is the hallmark of addictive disorders, the effectiveness of treatment, and subsequent relapse vulnerability. Several neurobiological candidates have been speculated to underlie addiction vulnerability. In this chapter, we review the potential contribution of genetic and environment factors to inhibitory control and addiction risk via their relationship to dopamine transmission aligned to frontostriatal neural circuitry. As insights grow regarding neurobiological features common to gene  ×  environment interactions, improved targeted prevention and intervention strategies will be developed to decrease the risk of vulnerable individuals to addiction disorders.


Inhibitory Control Impulsive Behavior Variable Number Tandem Repeat Addiction Disorder DRD1 Gene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.




DNA region of the gene containing the sequence for the mature form of the messenger RNA including protein coding regions as well as 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions.


A combination of alleles at multiple loci that are transmitted together on the same chromosome.


DNA region within a gene that is not translated into protein.

Missense coding change

A nucleotide mutation that alters the amino acid sequence of the protein.


Multiple alleles of the same gene within a given population.

Variable number tandem repeat polymorphism (VNTR)

A short nucleotide sequence polymorphism organized as a tandem repeat.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle M. Jacobs
  • Didier Jutras-Aswad
  • Jennifer A. DiNieri
  • Hilarie C. Tomasiewicz
  • Yasmin L. Hurd
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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