Navigation Links
Study suggests nicotine addiction might be controlled by influencing brain mechanisms
Date:12/8/2007

Boca Raton, FL, December 8, 2007 There is a clear link between GABA a chemical substance of the central nervous system that inhibits neurons in the brain and nicotine dependence, according to a study presented today at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) annual meeting. Researchers discovered that nicotine has significant effects on brain GABA, a finding which could potentially help curb the pleasurable effects of nicotine and help people break their addiction to it.

We found that GABA may provide a very useful target for nicotine addiction therapies, said Graeme Mason, Ph.D., associate professor in the Magnetic Resonance Research Center in the Departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and an ACNP member. GABA is just one of a complex network of actors that promotes addiction, and were hoping that this research will ultimately lead us to ways to help people quit smoking.

Mason sought to discover whether the enjoyable effects associated with smoking could be reduced in some way. When people use nicotine they may experience a sensation of reward, diminished anxiety, or a belief that they can focus more clearly or learn more easily. Researchers wanted to explore how a specific type of neuron that releases dopamine, a chemical that has been associated with pleasure, can prolong and intensify the pleasurable effects of nicotine. Although GABA inhibits those neurons, nicotine works against the ability of GABA to inhibit dopamine neurons after about 20 minutes, so the gratifying effects of nicotine are prolonged.

Researchers gave people who smoked regularly nicotine inhalers that deliver the same amount of the drug as in one cigarette. The amount of GABA in the subjects brains rose about 10%, but the brain was found to make GABA four times faster after using the inhalers, and the rate of new GABA generation remained high for at least 45 minutes. In other words, keeping the supply of GABA levels high has the potential to reduce the pleasurable effects of smoking, in terms of duration and intensity.

While GABA is probably not the root of nicotine addiction, it is part of a complex network of actors that are involved in addiction, Mason says.

Another study presented at the ACNP annual meeting which explored the role of GABA, genetics and environmental factors in smoking found that tobacco addiction is at least 50% determined by genetics. For this reason, researchers may be able to identify individuals who are vulnerable to nicotine dependence, and then implement prevention strategies accordingly.

For this study, Ming Li, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics in Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of Virginia recruited more than 2000 participants representing more than 600 families of smokers. They examined different regions on various chromosomes that showed linkage to nicotine addiction. Then they searched for susceptibility genes within these regions that appear to be associated with addiction. Some of these are the GABA-B receptor subunit 2 (GABAB2) gene on chromosome 9, and the GABA-A receptor-associated protein (GABARAP) gene on chromosome 17.

Li says the research could have significant public health implications because it could help curb smoking rates since researchers may be able to predict who is more prone to nicotine addiction. Tobacco is one of the most widely used substances; it kills more than 435,000 Americans each year, and despite increasing public awareness of the health risks associated with its use, little reduction in smoking prevalence has been achieved nationwide in recent years.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Reis
sreis@gymr.com
202-745-5103
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... August 31, 2020 , ... Ocean Springs, Mississippi-based ... to medical first responders across the United States. Since the start of the ... equipment (PPE) medical centers , hospitals , firefighters , and ...
(Date:8/31/2020)... , ... August 31, 2020 , ... ... support services to dental groups in the United States, today announced the grand ... of Beaumont, CA. , Patients will enjoy convenient hours, a comfortable office, ...
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... August 31, 2020 , ... ... both directly with persons with autism and other developmental disabilities, as well as ... intervention, parent education, adolescents with autism, school consultation, and staff development. She joined ...
(Date:8/28/2020)... ... August 28, 2020 , ... WHAT , Hespiro™ ... patients with respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, while reducing the need for scarce mechanical ... captures exhaled gas and scrubs it free of carbon dioxide in a completely ...
(Date:8/28/2020)... ... August 28, 2020 , ... Ziegler, ... Health on its investment in Synchronous Health, a tech-enabled behavioral health and well-being ... strength of human empathy with artificial intelligence (AI) to increase access and quality ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... DETROIT (PRWEB) , ... September 01, 2020 , ... September ... among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive ... be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 14,000 women will die from this disease. ...
(Date:8/31/2020)... YORK (PRWEB) , ... August 31, 2020 , ... If you live in New York ... The real estate part makes sense, it’s the law of supply and demand, but are ... Center has a significant percentage of their patients that make the four-hour trip to ...
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... , ... Cloudticity announced today that Network Products Guide, industry’s ... the 15th Annual 2020 Network PG’s IT World Awards®. , The IT World ... Guide honoring achievements of world’s best in organizational performance, product and service innovations, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: