He is also the principal U.
The presence of nicotine increases the amount of intracellular calcium, which appears to improve cellular survival. And nicotine may have an antioxidant effect, serving to mop up the toxic free radicals produced as a byproduct of metabolism, thus protecting the brain. They received either a milligram nicotine patch or placebo for six months.
Other studies suggest that nicotine may be as effective at enhancing attention as methylphenidate Ritalin and the wakefulness-promoting drug modafinil Provigil.
Why Smokers Are Skinny | Science | AAAS
In , Paul Newhouse, director of the Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, compared performance on a series of cognitive tasks in 15 nonsmoking ADHD patients while wearing either a 7-mg nicotine patch or a placebo patch. After just 45 minutes with the nicotine patch, the young adults were significantly better at inhibiting an impulse, delaying a reward and remembering an image they had seen. Even people without any diagnosed disorder might benefit from nicotine.
The ability to shut out stimuli could also turn nicotine into a treatment for schizophrenia, where afflicted individuals are overwhelmed by sights, sounds and thoughts that most of us would either ignore or quickly dismiss. Studies in the United States, Canada and Germany have shown that nicotine improves the ability of people with schizophrenia to focus their attention and recall recent events. Perhaps most surprising is that, in studies by Boyd and others, nicotine has not caused addiction or withdrawal when used to treat disease.
Tobacco may well be as addictive as heroin, as some have claimed. But as scientists know, getting mice or other animals hooked on nicotine alone is dauntingly difficult. In , for instance, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that animals self-administer a combination of nicotine and acetaldehyde, an organic chemical found in tobacco, significantly more often than either chemical alone.
In short, the estimated It is tobacco, with its thousands of chemical constituents, that rightly merits our fear and loathing as the Great Satan of addictiveness.