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Study: Gene Linked to Weight Gain Among Quitters

New research suggests that genetics may be involved in the weight gain experienced by some smokers who quit.

"This study provides new evidence that the increase in body weight that occurs following quitting is related to increases in food reward and that food reward is partially affected by genetic factors," said lead author, Caryn Lerman, Ph.D., associate director for cancer control and population science at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania and professor in Penn's School of Medicine and the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The study involved 71 smokers. One group of participants was given bupropion for smoking cessation, while the other group received a placebo. Both groups received seven sessions of behavioral group counseling.

Researchers recorded participants' smoking status, abstinence, symptoms, and side effects weekly. In addition, smoking status and weight were verified at the end of treatment and again at a six-month follow-up. Participants also took part in two behavioral laboratory sessions, one before treatment and one following three weeks of study medication and one week of abstinence. At each session the rewarding value of food was assessed.

In examining both variants of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2), the researchers found that smokers with the less common DRD2 variant (A1) showed significant increases in the rewarding value of food following abstinence from smoking.

However, participants with the A1 variant who were treated with bupropion didn't have significant weight gain at the six-month follow-up period compared with those who were given the placebo.

The researchers concluded that bupropion could be an effective treatment for smokers who are more likely to experience increases in food reward and weight gain after quitting.

"Since weight gain is a major barrier to quitting smoking, and can increase the chances of smoking relapse, developing tailored treatments to address this issue could have a major positive impact on public health," said Lerman.

The study's findings are published in the August 2004 issue of Psychopharmacology.

Source: www.jointogether.org

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What is Rapid Detox?

Also referred to as 'ultra rapid opiate detox,' it is a rapid detoxification procedure for opiate based substances and addictions such as heroin, vicodin, methadone, or any prescribed narcotic pain killers.
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