Genes And Nicotine Addiction
In 1998, scientists found a defective gene which makes the metabolism of nicotine difficult. The normal gene produces a liver enzyme needed to break down nicotine. The defective gene, found in about 20% of nonsmokers, may lessen the likelihood of nicotine addiction.
In 1999, researchers discovered a version of a gene which increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. Because nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine, researchers believe the new-found gene may reduce the individual's desire to "pump up" dopamine production with nicotine.
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