Inactivation of a specific sub-class of nicotinic receptors may be an effective strategy to help smokers quit without feeling anxious, a new study has found.
According to researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University, these findings could pave way for development of novel therapies to help smokers quit without feeling anxious. Smokers use cigarettes for many reasons, with many reporting they smoke to relieve anxiety. Researchers are now working to understand the underlying neurochemical pathways that support smoking behaviour.
They observed that low doses of nicotine and a nicotinic receptor blocker had similar effects to reduce anxiety-like behaviour in an animal model. "This work is unque as it suggests that nicotine may be acting through inactivation, rather than activation, of the high affinity nicotinic receptors," said researcher Darlene Brunzell, assistant professor in the VCU School of Medicine.