Synopsis

Addiction is a complex behavior with inherited aspects, and scientists are working to decipher the many genes involved. A new study has identified 221 genes in humans that seem contribute to a smoker’s success at quitting. Many of these genes are also associated with other addictive behavior. The research, conducted by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, may lead to new drug therapies for addiction tailored to a smoker’s unique genetic makeup. 

This Human Bulletin focuses on one of the implicated genes, cadherin 13, which controls how neurons in the brain connect and signal each other.