Effects of Nicotine on Brain Development Washington DC

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.

Michael Huang, MD
(202) 444-7371
616 E St NW Apt 1101
Washington, DC
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2003

Data Provided by:
Marvin William Jackson, MD
2251 Sherman Ave NW # 120E
Washington, DC
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ca, Los Angeles, Ucla Sch Of Med, Los Angeles Ca 90024
Graduation Year: 1993

Data Provided by:
Roger Ivo Von Hanwehr, MD
(202) 745-8000
2029 K St NW
Washington, DC
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Southern Ca Sch Of Med, Los Angeles Ca 90033
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided by:
Chitra Ramabhadran Chari, MD
(202) 675-7128
Washington, DC
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Bj Med Coll, Univ Of Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Graduation Year: 1969

Data Provided by:
Abdel M El Beshir, MD
(301) 262-6632
650 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC
Specialties
Psychiatry, Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Cairo, Fac Of Med, Cairo, Egypt (330-02 Prior 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1954

Data Provided by:
Paul Mark Hoffman, MD
(202) 408-3600
Medical Research Svc 121
Washington, DC
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Fl Coll Of Med, Gainesville Fl 32610
Graduation Year: 1967

Data Provided by:
Charlotte Jane Sumner, MD
Washington, DC
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pa Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19104
Graduation Year: 1996

Data Provided by:
Zigmond M Lebensohn, MD
(202) 337-2630
2015 R St NW
Washington, DC
Specialties
Psychiatry, Neurology
Gender
Male
Languages
French
Education
Medical School: Northwestern Univ Med Sch, Chicago Il 60611
Graduation Year: 1934
Hospital
Hospital: Sibley Mem Hosp, Washington, Dc

Data Provided by:
Dr.Richard Restak
(202) 462-0455
1800 R St NW # C3
Washington, DC
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Georgetown Univ Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1966
Speciality
Neurologist
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
3.2, out of 5 based on 2, reviews.

Data Provided by:
Gary Creed Dennis, MD
(202) 865-6682
2041 Georgia Ave Ste 5B47 N W,
Washington, DC
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Howard Univ Coll Of Med, Washington Dc 20059
Graduation Year: 1976
Hospital
Hospital: Howard University Hosp, Washington, Dc
Group Practice: Howard University Physicians Inc Surgery Dept

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Effects of Nicotine on Brain Development

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