Females more at genetic risk for developing insomnia than males, VCU study suggests

Genes may contribute more to the development of insomnia symptoms in females than in males, according to a new study led by a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate student.

Drawing on pre-existing data from the Virginia Adult Twin Studies of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders (VATSPSUD), a large data set collected by VCU psychiatry professor Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., Mackenzie Lind found evidence that the heritability of insomnia could be higher for females than it is for males, suggesting that genes influence ... Continue Reading →


Featured Student: Megan Cooke

Megan Cooke is a fourth-year student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics PhD program and is among the first cohorts in the program. She began her career in research while working in a Health Psychology lab at Furman University, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Afterward, she obtained a post-baccalaureate fellowship to further her research training at the NIAAA. This experience solidified her interest in substance abuse, specifically alcohol use disorders, ... Continue Reading →


Study examines role of religious devotion in substance use and abuse

Analysis of religiosity in childhood and adulthood suggests that individuals who change in religiosity over time are at greater risk of using psychoactive substances, including alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Religiosity is the relevance of religious belief to a person’s life – in other words, how religious or devout a person is. The study, which will be published in the March issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence and currently available online, showed that ... Continue Reading →

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