Studies on Smoking Genes and Transcriptional Control of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Revealed in Molecular Medicine

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Smokers who have an easier time quitting may have the benefit of specific genes that can foster success, according to a new study by a team of federal scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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outside of the somewhat artificial setting of a clinical trial

Smokers who have an easier time quitting may have the benefit of specific genes that can foster success, according to a new study by a team of federal scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Tomas Drgon, Dean Hamer, George Uhl and their colleagues conducted genome-wide association studies on volunteers with smoking histories and symptoms of nicotine dependence, who were able to successfully stop smoking in community settings, "outside of the somewhat artificial setting of a clinical trial," the authors wrote. The subjects had a specific SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism, which made it easier to stop smoking and remain abstinent. There were SNPs that were more common among those who had trouble quitting and those who stopped without much trouble. In short, subjects who smoke or have smoked had a different genetic allele frequency than those who never smoked. Other researchers have also found similar patterns in genome-wide association studies with cigarettes and other drugs of abuse - a phenotype of substance dependence.

The authors did not find genetic linkage in social smokers (people who smoked at low and steady levels but who were not dependent on cigarettes).

These findings are "reassuring for future attempts to use genotype-based data to match smokers with the type and/or intensities of treatments that provide the best and most cost-effective smoking cessation opportunities for them in community settings," the authors wrote.

Other studies in the January-February 2009 issue of Molecular Medicine include ''Transcriptional Control of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'' and ''Human AM/AMBP1 as a Treatment for Sepsis.''

Molecular Medicine is published by The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. To read the journal online and view this month's popular podcast go to http://www.molmed.org. For more information contact Assistant Editor, Veronica Davis at 516-562-2670.

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