Smoking: New research helps itch to quit

Sep 13, 2009

European scientists said Sunday they could explain why nicotine patches designed to help smokers kick their habit can cause skin irritation.

Nicotine activates a so-called ion channel in skin cells that unleashes an inflammatory response by the , leading to itching, they reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Previously, the irritation had been blamed on stimulation of special receptors on nerve cells, causing pain signals to be sent to the brain.

The investigation, carried out on that had been genetically modified to lack the TRPA-1 ion channel, was led by Karel Talavera of the Leuven Catholic University, near Brussels.

The discovery could pave the way to smoking therapies with fewer side effects, the authors say.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Dietary Guidelines for Americans linked to lower death rates in population in southeast US

Related Stories

Two Nicotine Addiction Puzzles Explained

Aug 02, 2007

The stranglehold of nicotine addiction leads to more than four million smoking-related deaths each year. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have now explained two roots of that addiction. The discoveries ...

Recommended for you

Clinical trial reduces stress of cancer caregivers

15 hours ago

Stem cell transplant is essential in the care of many blood cancers, but leaves patients requiring in-home care for months after. Frequently the role of caregiver falls to family or other committed members ...

Video: Debunking three common food myths

16 hours ago

You might have heard that microwaving your food is dangerous. Maybe your health nut friend told you that eating frozen veggies is less healthful than eating fresh ones. Is a glass of red wine really good ...

Tackling child abuse in Africa with research and fun

19 hours ago

In one of South Africa's poorest areas, an imaginative new parenting programme is tackling the physical and emotional abuse of children. Oxford University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, travelled ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.