Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

NIDA Is Shifting Focus to Smoking Cessation

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

NIDA Is Shifting Focus to Smoking Cessation

Article excerpt

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. -- The National Institute on Drug Abuse is putting more emphasis on finding treatments for nicotine addiction, William Corrigall, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

NIDA's increased interest in smoking cessation research represents a broadening in priorities for the agency, which has long focused on illicit drug abuse, said Dr. Corrigall, who is director of the Nicotine and Tobacco Addiction Program at NIDA, Rockville, Md.

The institute is "really interested" in translating research into new interventions, either medical or behavioral, he noted.

A step in that direction is the formation of National Cooperative Drug Discovery Groups, a collaboration between the government and researchers that can include the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as partners in developing therapies for nicotine addiction and other disorders.

One new line of research focuses on methoxsalen, a compound that has been shown to inhibit cytochrome P450 2A6, also known as CYP2A6.

Inhibiting that cytochrome makes more nicotine available in the blood for longer, decreasing the desire to smoke.

Another drug of interest is selegiline, an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase B, an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain. …

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