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Helping ex-smokers resist the urge

Date:
October 22, 2012
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
A new study may provide a powerful new way to reduce relapses in people who have quit smoking or chewing tobacco.

A new inhibitor helps previously nicotine-addicted rats stay on the wagon, according to a study published on Oct. 22 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Kicking the cigarette habit is difficult enough, but resisting the urge to light up in situations previously associated with smoking can be a quitter's downfall. But help may be at hand. A new inhibitor developed by Fang Liu and colleagues at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto helped ex-smoker rats resist that urge.

Liu and colleagues found that long-term nicotine exposure caused two neurotransmitter receptors to interact in the brain, and their inhibitor prevented this interaction. In rats trained to self-administer nicotine, the inhibitor had no effect on their propensity to indulge. But in "ex-smoker" rats (those weaned off nicotine), the inhibitor decreased the number of relapses after exposure to environmental cues previously associated with a nicotine fix.

If the inhibitor works the same way in humans, it may provide a powerful new way to reduce relapses in people who have quit smoking or chewing tobacco.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shupeng Li, ZhaoXia Li, Lin Pei, Anh D. Le, and Fang Liu. The α7nACh–NMDA receptor complex is involved in cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1084/jem.20121270

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Helping ex-smokers resist the urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022092851.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2012, October 22). Helping ex-smokers resist the urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022092851.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Helping ex-smokers resist the urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022092851.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

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