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Nicotine and Depression

Posted by jedi on September 16, 2006, at 2:22:02

Hi Guys,
I've noticed that a large number of people with chronic depression are smokers. Nicotine is a uniquely addicting drug that stimulates and relaxes people. Of course the deadly side effects of smoking make it not a very wise choice as a treatment for depression. Here is a study that suggests that nicotine will help even non-smokers with the symptoms of depression. Please don't use this as an excuse to start smoking. I'm just thinking that maybe some of the effects of nicotine can be isolated to create a better treatment for some depressions.
Jedi

Nicotine may help reduce depression in non-smokers:
Study By - IANS

Full Story can be found at http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1052717&CatID=5

NEW YORK: Nicotine may help reduce depression in non-smokers, says a new study, though scientists caution that people with depression should not attempt to smoke or even start using a nicotine patch.

Researchers led by Joseph McClernon at Duke University Medical Center recruited 11 people who did not smoke but who were experiencing symptoms of depression, according to a university release.

Participants were randomly assigned to wear either a nicotine patch or a placebo patch that did not contain any nicotine and measured depression symptoms among them.

The researchers found that participants who wore the nicotine patch for at least eight days experienced a significant decline in their depression assessment rating scores.

"The hope is that our research on nicotine will spur the development of new treatments for depression, which is a huge public health problem," said McClernon.

Despite the positive effects of nicotine discovered in their study, the researchers emphasised that it is not currently appropriate for treatment of any medical disorder outside of nicotine dependence.

"I certainly recommend that people don't smoke," said Edward Levin, another researcher of the study. "If you do smoke, quit."

The researchers stressed that people with depression should not start smoking or even start using a nicotine patch.

They said smoking remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disability in the US, and that the addictive hazards of tobacco far outweigh the potential benefits of nicotine in depression.

But the finding suggests that it may be possible to manipulate nicotine's effects to safely reap its potential medical benefits, according to the researchers.

As an example of the drug's potential, they said, pharmaceutical companies are already developing compounds for treating other brain disorders by mimicking the beneficial properties of nicotine while avoiding its addictive nature.


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poster:jedi thread:686441
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20060909/msgs/686441.html