Helping ex-smokers resist the urge

October 22, 2012, Rockefeller University

A new inhibitor helps previously nicotine-addicted rats stay on the wagon, according to a study published on October 22nd 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 caused two 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 .

More information: Li, S., et al. 2012. J. Exp. Med. doi: 10.1084/jem.20121270

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Gaming or gambling? Online transactions blur boundaries

June 28, 2018
In-game purchasing systems, such as 'loot boxes', in popular online games resemble gambling and may pose financial risks for vulnerable players, according to gambling psychology researchers at the University of Adelaide.

Exercise helps treat addiction by altering brain's dopamine system

May 28, 2018
New research by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions has identified a key mechanism in how aerobic exercise can help impact the brain in ways that may support treatment—and even prevention strategies—for ...

Warning labels on alcohol containers highly deficient, new research shows

May 21, 2018
Current health warning labels on alcohol beverage containers in New Zealand are highly deficient, new research from the University of Otago, Wellington shows.

Serving smaller alcoholic drinks could reduce the U.K.'s alcohol consumption

May 14, 2018
New research published in Addiction, conducted by researchers from the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield, highlights the potential benefits of reducing the standard serving size of alcoholic beverages.

Anti-alcoholism drug shows promise in animal models

May 3, 2018
Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have successfully tested in animals a drug that, they say, may one day help block the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that incessantly coax people with alcoholism to drink. ...

FDA-approved drugs to treat diabetes and obesity may reduce cocaine relapse and help addicted people break the habit

April 28, 2018
Cocaine and other drugs of abuse hijack the natural reward circuits in the brain. In part, that's why it's so hard to quit using these substances. Moreover, relapse rates hover between 40 and 60 percent, similar to rates ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.