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Early Use Of Nicotine Could Increase Susceptibility For Life-long Addiction

Date:
October 18, 2006
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Summary:
Nicotine exposure at a young age may alter the "hard-wiring" of the brain that occurs during adolescence and young-adulthood, contributing to future susceptibility for addiction, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.
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Nicotine exposure at a young age may alter the "hard-wiring" of the brain that occurs during adolescence and young-adulthood, contributing to future susceptibility for addiction, according to a University of Pittsburgh study being presented today at Neuroscience 2006, the 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience being held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

The research team, led by Jay W. Pettegrew, M.D., professor of psychiatry, used magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to evaluate the effects of acute nicotine administration on nerve cell membranes -- the functional communication centers of the brain.

According to their findings, nicotine induced molecular and metabolic changes in the brain, which resulted in the breakdown of the nerve cell membranes. These changes were especially observed in males.

Such findings could explain what has been noted in epidemiological studies -- that individuals who smoke as adolescents have a higher probability of being life-long smokers than those who start smoking later in life.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


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Materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Early Use Of Nicotine Could Increase Susceptibility For Life-long Addiction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017085052.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (2006, October 18). Early Use Of Nicotine Could Increase Susceptibility For Life-long Addiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017085052.htm
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Early Use Of Nicotine Could Increase Susceptibility For Life-long Addiction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017085052.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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