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NIDA Study Identifies Genes That Might Help Some People Abstain,from Smoking

ity to become dependent on multiple substances include cadherin 13 (a molecule involved in cell adhesion, which governs how cells recognize and connect to their neighbors) and a cyclic G-dependent protein kinase gene (that plays a key role in normal brain development). In addition to genes implicated in intracellular signaling and intercellular interactions, a number of genes involved in other processes have also been identified. While many of the genes identified through this effort make sense because of their role in supporting new neural connections in the brain, more research is now needed to understand the actual mechanisms through which they may increase or reduce the rates of successful quitting.

Dr. Uhl says he and his colleagues have replicated this research in another sample, as he reported at the February 2007 meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

"These findings provide ample justification for continuing the search for even more genetic variants associated with smoking cessation success," says Dr. Volkow. "We soon may be able to make use of this information to match treatments with the smokers most likely to benefit from them."

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at <http://www.drugabuse.gov>.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health an
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