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Scientists have found the brain pathway which triggers nicotine withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, headache, nausea and a craving for more tobacco.
And researchers, writing in the journal Nature Communications, say they found a way to switch off the pathway during withdrawal in mice, which could lead to new stop smoking drugs for people.
Prior to this study, most animal models of nicotine dependence have focused on the traditional addiction pathway in the brain.
However, Andrew Tapper of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and colleagues investigated the less studied stress pathways.
They found they could trigger or prevent nicotine withdrawal induced anxiety in mice by turning the pathway on and off.
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