Media Availability: New biomarkers may lead to first reliable blood test for detecting alcohol misuse
A team of researchers led by NIH scientists from the Framingham Heart Study says it has identified a group of new chemical markers in the blood that could provide the basis for the first reliable blood test to detect heavy alcohol use. In addition to screening ordinary citizens for signs of alcohol misuse, such a diagnostic test could be used to screen airline pilots, bus drivers, train conductors, and others whose jobs directly affect the public safety. These biomarkers could also help shed light on the molecular basis of alcohol addiction, identify patients at high risk for alcoholism, and lead to new strategies for treating the disease, the researchers say. The study, the largest of its kind to evaluate blood markers for alcohol misuse, will appear in Molecular Psychiatry on November 15.