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UVA Researchers Link Possible Addiction Gene

December 17, 2007

University of Virginia researchers have discovered a gene that could explain what leads to nicotine addiction.

About 62-million people in the United States ages 12 and older are current cigarette smokers; according to the national household survey on drug abuse.

Researchers at UVA have honed in one a gene that they believe triggers someone to be addicted to nicotine.

They recruited 600 families, 400 African American and 200 Caucasian, and took blood and DNA samples from the smokers and their entire families to test everyones genes for addiction

"We found multiple genomic areas contain genes or potential genes for smoking," said Dr. Ming Li.

Now researchers will be able to use this information and in the future they hope to develop new medicines and treatments that specifically target this gene that is known to cause addiction.

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