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Sunday, 16 August 2015

A New Strategy for Smoking Cessation

The vast majority of smokers have tried to quit at some point. And many have failed, and have fallen. Among those using replacement therapies - that is, more than willpower - we fall between 80-90%. Now, in a recently published article , propose a method that would end this.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases; thus, effective smoking cessation aids are crucial for reducing the prevalence of cigarette smoking and smoking-related illnesses. In our current campaign we offer a nicotine-degrading enzyme from Pseudomonas putida, NicA2, a flavin-containing protein. To explore its potential, a kinetic evaluation of the enzyme was conducted, which included determination of Km, kcat, buffer/serum half-life, and thermostability. Additionally, the catabolism profile of NicA2 was elucidated to assess the potential toxicity of the nicotine-derived products. In characterizing the enzyme, a favorable biochemical profile of the enzyme was discovered, making NicA2 a prospective therapeutic candidate. This approach provides a new avenue for the field of nicotine addiction therapy.

The idea is very simple. Relapses occur for a very simple reason: by the time you smoke a cigarette, you get a dose of nicotine you removed "the monkey". That is, you perceive a "reward" chemical. You feel more comfortable, go. It is what they have addictions.

So the solution would avoid the "reward". How? Getting nicotine from reaching the brain. Thus smoking only brings the downside, and not "positive" to alleviate addiction.

Simple to understand. And to say. But until now he had not found the "magic" substance that blocks nicotine, the substance to which smokers are addicted.

Although it is no longer true, at least not entirely. A research team has found a substance that is very promising in this regard. It is an old acquaintance, an enzyme called NicA2, which is responsible for metabolizing and leave "useless" nicotine.

This enzyme is produced by a bacteria, Pseudomonas putida , which first met in fields of snuff. These organisms are fed exclusively nicotine through the NicA2 that handles degrade.

Sure, there is one thing the enzyme, and one that can be used as medicine. So far, the evidence is promising. After handling the enzyme, a process that is necessary to avoid allergies and adverse reactions, the duration of nicotine is much less.

The test was carried out in mouse serum, to the amount of nicotine in a cigarette joined. Typically, the half life - the time needed for half of a substance disappears - is two to three hours. With enzyme, it is reduced to 9-15 minutes.

In these times, still come nicotine to the brain. But this is only the first phase of drug development. If successful further reduce the half life, and shows that it has no side effects - which so far have not appeared  or produce allergies.

Much remains for this drug development a reality. But since the consumption of snuff causes serious health problems and has a high health costs.

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