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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.

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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 December 21, 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 December 21, 2014).

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