Some people find it so much easier to kick the butt than their peers. Have you ever wondered why?
New research shows that vulnerability to smoking addiction is shaped by our genes.
A study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital - The Neuro, McGill University shows that people with genetically fast nicotine metabolism have a significantly greater brain response to smoking cues than those with slow nicotine metabolism.
Previous research shows that greater reactivity to smoking cues predicts decreased success at smoking cessation and that environmental cues promote increased nicotine intake in animals and humans.
This new finding that nicotine metabolism rates affect the brain's response to smoking may lead the way for tailoring smoking cessation programs based on individual genetics.
Scans show areas of brain activation in response to smoking cues in people with fast nicotine metabolism and slow nicotine metabolism. Brain regions are more activated in individuals with fast nicotine metabolism.
"The finding that nicotine metabolism rate has an impact on the brain's response to smoking cues supports our hypothesis that individuals with fast nicotine metabolism rates would have a greater brain response to smoking cues because of close coupling in everyday life between exposure to cigarettes and surges in blood nicotine concentration," said clinician-scientist Dr. Alain Dagher, lead investigator at The Neuro.
In other words they learn to associate cigarette smoking with the nicotine surge," he added.