Effects of Nicotine on Brain Development Amsterdam NY

Researchers have found that nicotine, the addictive component in cigarettes, "tricks" the brain into creating memory associations between environmental cues and smoking behavior. This could help explain why former smokers miss lighting up when they are in a bar or after a meal.

Local Companies

KENNETH SHAPIRO, MD
(518) 382-4563
1270 Belmont Avenue
Schenectady, NY
JACK UNDERWOOD, MD
(518) 374-5640
1565 Union Street
Schenectady, NY
Kenneth Neil Shapiro, MD
1270 Belmont Ave
Schenectady, NY
David Lawrence Cooper, MD
518-885-6993
818 Greenwood Dr
Ballston Spa, NY
EUGENE D KAPLAN, MD, MPH
518 388-9900
600 McCclellan St., Suite 342
SCHENECTADY, NY
Bruno P Tolge
(518) 381-9202
1401 Union St
Schenectady, NY
MATTHEW LYNCH, MD
(518) 725-8621
4104 State Highway 30
Amsterdam, NY
Eugene Daniel Kaplan, MD
600 McClellan St
Schenectady, NY
Thomas John Lovely, MD
518-382-2616
1201 Nott St Ste 204
Schenectady, NY
Gerald L Haines, MD FACS
518-374-0065
2976 Rosendale Rd
Schenectady, NY
Data Provided by:
    

Provided By:

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found that nicotine, the addictive component in cigarettes, "tricks" the brain into creating memory associations between environmental cues and smoking behavior. This could help explain why former smokers miss lighting up when they are in a bar or after a meal.

The findings from researchers at Baylor College of Medicine are in the Sept. 10 issue of the journal Neuron.

"Our brains normally make these associations between things that support our existence and environmental cues so that we conduct behaviors leading to successful lives. The brain sends a reward signal when we act in a way that contributes to our well being," study co-author Dr. John A. Dani, professor of neuroscience at BCM said in a college news release. "However, nicotine commandeers this subconscious learning process in the brain so we begin to behave as though smoking is a positive action."

Dani said that environmental events linked with smoking can become cues that prompt the smoking urge. Those cues could include alcohol, a meal with friends or even the drive home from work.

Dani and Dr. Jianrong Tang, instructor of neuroscience at BCM and co-author of the report, recorded the brain activity of mice as they were exposed to nicotine.

The mice were allowed to roam through an apparatus with two compartments. In one compartment, they received nicotine. In the other, they got a saline solution. The researchers recorded how long the mice spent in each compartment and brain activity within the hippocampus, an area of the brain that creates new memories.

"The brain activity change was just amazing," Dani said. "Compared to injections of saline, nicotine strengthened neuronal connections -- sometimes up to 200 percent. This strengthening of connections underlies new memory formation."

Dani said understanding mechanisms that create memory could have implications in future research and treatments for memory disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, and for dopamine signaling disorders, such as Parkinson's disease.

More information

The National Institutes of Health has more information on nicotine here.

SOURCE: Baylor College of Medicine, news release, Sept. 9, 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Read Article at HealthDay.com

Related Articles
- Quitting Smoking Tips Amsterdam NY
Quitting smoking is not easy for anyone and if you've tried it before you should know exactly what I'm talking about. The nicotine is one of the most addictive substances that affects the entire body functioning including the brain.
- Dangers of Underage Drinking Amsterdam NY
- DHA for Increasing Cognitive Skills in Infants Amsterdam NY
- Benefits of Krill Oil Amsterdam NY
- Omega-3 Benefits and Effects Amsterdam NY
- Quit Smoking Aids Amsterdam NY
- Stop Smoking Aids Amsterdam NY
- Anxiety Disorders Amsterdam NY
- Protein and Brain Circuitry Amsterdam NY
- Nicotine Addiction Amsterdam NY