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Cincinnati.com: Study involving UC could help ID genetic markers for opioid addiction

UC expert leads research that is among the first to examine ways of preventing opioid use disorder

Caroline Freiermuth, MD, of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UC College of Medicine, is featured in a story published on Cincinnati.com on research she is leading that hopes to identify potential genetic factors in opioid addition. The research, funded by the Ohio Attorney General's office, is among the first to examine the pharmacogenomics of opioid addiction.

Pharmacogenomics, a relatively new field, is the study of how genes affect a person's response to drugs.

a research study volunteer is swabbed in a hospital room

A patient volunteering for the pharmacogenomics study is swabbed at the UC Department of Emergency Medicine. Photo credit/Jonathan Quilter/Ohio Attorney General's Office

"We don't know who will be harmed by opioids," Freiermuth said in a YouTube video outlining the research project. "We know … there's a genetic link to many substance use disorders." She and others from UC and Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center hope to zero in on the genetic identifiers of opioid addiction.

The researchers are recruiting patients from emergency departments who have the chronic health disorder and patients who do not have the condition. Freiermuth, who started the work in May, said she's had a great response from patients at the UC Medical Center. UCMC has now reached the initial milestone of 100 patients enrolled. 

Read the full story here and find out more about the research here

Lead image/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

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