The collaborative study on the genetics of alcoholism (COGA) is a multi-site, multidisciplinary project with the goal of identifying how genes are involved in alcohol use disorder and related outcomes, and characterizing how genetic risk unfolds across development and in conjunction with the environment and brain function. COGA is a multi-generational family-based study in which probands were recruited through alcohol treatment centers, along with a set of community comparison families. Nearly 18,000 individuals from >2200 families have been assessed over a period of over 30 years with a rich phenotypic battery that includes semi-structured psychiatric interviews and questionnaire measures, along with DNA collection and electrophysiological data on a large subset. Participants range in age from 7 to 97, with many having longitudinal assessments, providing a valuable opportunity to study alcohol use and problems across the lifespan. Here we provide an overview of data collection methods for the COGA sample, and details about sample characteristics and comorbidity. We also review key research findings that have emerged from analyses of the COGA data. COGA data are available broadly to researchers, and we hope this overview will encourage further collaboration and use of these data to advance the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12860
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • alcohol
  • comorbidity
  • development
  • drug
  • environment
  • genetics
  • lifespan

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