Molecular Genetic Testing in Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): Facts and Fiction

Kenneth Blum, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, Gozde Agan, James Fratantonio, Thomas Simpatico, Marcelo Febo, Brett C. Haberstick, Andrew Smolen, and Mark S. Gold



Background: The Brain Reward Cascade (BRC) is an interaction of neurotransmitters and their respective genes to control the amount of dopamine released within the brain. Any variations within this pathway, whether genetic or environmental (epigenetic), may result in addictive behaviors or RDS, which was coined to define addictive behaviors and their genetic components.

Methods: To carry out this review we searched a number of important databases including: Filtered: Cochrane Systematic reviews; DARE; Pubmed Central Clinical Quaries; National Guideline Clearinghouse and unfiltered resources: PsychINFO; ACP PIER; PsychSage; Pubmed/Medline. The major search terms included: dopamine agonist therapy for Addiction; dopamine agonist therapy for Reward dependence; dopamine antagonistic therapy for addiction; dopamine antagonistic therapy for reward dependence and neurogenetics of RDS.

Results: While there are many studies claiming a genetic association with RDS behavior, not all are scientifically accurate.

Conclusion: Albeit our bias, this Clinical Pearl discusses the facts and fictions behind molecular genetic testing in RDS and the significance behind the development of the Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARSPREDX™), the first test to accurately predict one’s genetic risk for RDS.

Published on: March 19, 2015
doi: 10.17756/jrds.2015-009
Citation: Blum K, Badgaiyan RD, Agan G, Fratantonio J, Simpatico T, et al. 2015. Molecular Genetic Testing in Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): Facts and Fiction. J Reward Defic Syndr Addict Sci 1(1): 65-68.