Smoking rewires brain circuits in gene carriers

Oct 12, 2016
Sufang Li, PhD - Yihong Yang, PhD - Ewa Hoffmann, PhD - Rachel Tyndale, PhD - Elliot A. Stein, PhD

Pharmacology & Toxicology researchers at the University of Toronto working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (United States) have discovered a brain circuit that becomes activated in smokers depending on their genetic background. The gene of importance is CYP2A6, which is responsible for metabolizing nicotine and therefore determining the brain’s exposure when smoking. Published in Biological Psychiatry, the data show that the brain changes that occur with smoking depend on this genotype, providing new insight that may help to prevent and treat nicotine addiction by inhibiting or reversing nicotine-induced functional brain changes.


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