Inhibiting This Enzyme Can Aid in Quitting Smoking

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The protein, kinase C epsilon is an enzyme that is attributed to the feeling of enjoyment when nicotine binds to nicotine receptors on dopamine neurons. This enjoyment from tobacco leads to a sense of reward, making quitting difficult.

A new study of mice who were genetically engineered to lack kinase C epsilon have been found to consume less nicotine-containing water solution than normal mice. The belief now is that by inhibiting this protein in the body, the areas of the brain that send the reward signal can be regulated. Regulation can help people trying to quit smoking be successful, by reducing the cravings that nicotine from smoking causes.

The medical community is making great progress in helping us quit smoking and maintain a smoke-free life. Hopefully, one day this will be a non-issue.

If you’d like to read more about the study, visit http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912152853.htm

* image attribution: “Bliss” by See-ming Lee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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