TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
Gene variant linked to impulse control identified
By Staff Writer
A team of scientists from the National Institutes of Health has found that a genetic variant of a brain receptor molecule could be responsible for a lack of impulse control, particularly when those who carry it are under the influence of alcohol.
The study, which was published in the journal Nature, revealed that impulsivity is a factor in many pathological behaviors such as addiction, aggression and suicide.
Researchers studied a sample of violent criminal offenders from Finland, all of whom had participated in spontaneous, purposeless crimes. These individuals tended to have a DNA variant that blocked a gene called HTR2B, which controls impulsivity.
"Discovery of a genetic variant which predicts impulsive behavior under certain conditions in one human population may have much wider implications," the researchers explained. "The interaction with alcohol intoxication is interesting, as is the apparently involvement of a neurotransmitter pathway that has been regarded as important in addictions and other behavior."
Troubled teenagers who may engage in activities involving violence and alcohol could benefit from attending a therapeutic school, which offers guidance and education designed to help them stop these harmful behaviors.