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Have read countless articles on schizophrenia and nicotine use but I am not very knowledgeable concerning brain activity. I am BP but still cannot quit smoking. I am 45 years old and have nervous breakdowns and drink like a fish everytime I try to quit.

What part of the brain does nicotine effect? What drugs would 'mimic' this same effect or squash the craving?

Catch 22. I cannot take ADs. Too activating and makes me manic. You would think that cigs would make me manic but they don't. Wellbutrin wigs me out. SSRI's a no no.

Any answer from a resident swami would be greatly appreciated. Not too technical please.  I'm not too bright.

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Have read countless articles on schizophrenia and nicotine use but I am not very knowledgeable concerning brain activity. I am BP but still cannot quit smoking. I am 45 years old and have nervous breakdowns and drink like a fish everytime I try to quit.

What part of the brain does nicotine effect? What drugs would 'mimic' this same effect or squash the craving?

Catch 22. I cannot take ADs. Too activating and makes me manic. You would think that cigs would make me manic but they don't. Wellbutrin wigs me out. SSRI's a no no.

Any answer from a resident swami would be greatly appreciated. Not too technical please.  I'm not too bright.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Society for Neuroscience - Brain Briefings: Nicotine and the Brain. If you can handle this paragraph:

Some scientists already are testing synthetic new drugs that they believe sidestep the negative effects of nicotine and enhance its positive effects by acting only on specific subtypes of nicotine receptors in the brain. One drug in early human trials is showing promise as a pain medication. The compound appears to act as a more potent pain reliever than current medications. Animal studies suggest that it may cause fewer side effects.

You should be okay.

Edited because I forgot to add the actual link.

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Yes, I have read that some researchers are applauding the positive effects and possible uses of nicotine but none will go out on a limb and suggest that a patient should smoke.

Nicotine is a 'dirty' drug.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry I forgot to add the link the first time.

Anyway, is it possible for you to get some kind of nicotine replacement therapy?

StrungOutOnLife

*who wishes they'd NAMED those "synthetic chemicals" they say they're testing*

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Anyway, is it possible for you to get some kind of nicotine replacement therapy?

StrungOutOnLife

*who wishes they'd NAMED those "synthetic chemicals" they say they're testing*

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

SOOL-

Yeah I would like to know the names of the drugs myself. Nicotine replacement therapy? This is what I'm after. Drug of choice is Zyban (which I can't take). There's got to be a better alternative (drug).

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Drug of choice is Zyban (which I can't take). There's got to be a better alternative (drug).

I could have sworn that I read somewhere that they are thinking of marketing Topamax for smoking cessation.....  Well, duuuuuuhhh me.

Crazymeds

Ruins

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Have you tried a Nicotrol inhaler?  They helped me quit smoking.  It's a little device that's cigarette-shaped (sorta) and you inhale nicotine through a cartridge placed in the holder.  It has less nicotine than a cigarette, and lasts longer.  You "smoke" those instead of cigarettes and they're healthier because they don't have the tar and additives.  You wean yourself off the cartridges very slowly, using less and less of them.  Eventually I find myself "smoking" the same empty cartridge for days at a time, just to have something to hold like a cigarette.  Don't need the nicotine anymore by that point.

Good luck!

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szs,

I have quit the smokes before, many times. I quit last year and was OK for a while. But when my BP gets worse, when I started to rapid cycle. I started smoking again. Now I am smoking more than I have in a long time.

I think the nicotine helps keep me more alert, counter-attacking my sluggisness, drowsiness from all my BP meds, epscially Zyprexa. Although people who smoke are supposed to clear Zyprexa out of their system 40% quicker , the difference, according to the PI sheet said it really does not make much of a difference in the effectiveness.

I was on Wellbutrin before I had to stop it and it never did anything to decrease my smoking. Topamax didn't either. Maybe they did and I just didn't notice because I no longer take either med and I have again increased the amount I smoke.

Smoking also has a calming effect on my anxiety. I have had a pdoc tell me not to stop smkoing if it helping the anxiety "right now", even though she dissaproves of smoking. I also had a tdoc one time tell me not to stop smoking while I was still very depressed. If I am not correct, I will edit, but I think that hitting the nicotinic receptors can at first have an activiating effect and then with coninued use has a calming effect.

What meds are you taking now? Could make a difference, maybe.

Erika

Erika

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Hey Erika-

I am currently taking Lithobid, Seroquel & Klonopin. Have been on this cocktail now for quite a while (a year on lithium and Klonopin).

My GP shakes his head when I tell him I'm still smoking. My pdoc doesn't seem to care. I've been seeing my pdoc for about three years now.

I've really gotten to the point where I don't think I could ever quite. My GP says I can. I was dx'd after I tried to quite the last time in 2002. That's how strong nicotine is for me. I quit and am dx'd with two mental disorders. If I try to quit again I fear I would end up in the hospital. Maybe it's unfounded, maybe not.

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Anyway, is it possible for you to get some kind of nicotine replacement therapy?

StrungOutOnLife

*who wishes they'd NAMED those "synthetic chemicals" they say they're testing*

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

SOOL-

Yeah I would like to know the names of the drugs myself. Nicotine replacement therapy? This is what I'm after. Drug of choice is Zyban (which I can't take). There's got to be a better alternative (drug).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've heard "nicotine replacement therapy" used to refer to patches and nicotine gum. That's what I meant.

Sorry about that.

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szs,

I have quit the smokes before, many times. I quit last year and was OK for a while. But when my BP gets worse, when I started to rapid cycle. I started smoking again. Now I am smoking more than I have in a long time.

Smoking also has a calming effect on my anxiety. I have had a pdoc tell me not to stop smkoing if it helping the anxiety "right now", even though she dissaproves of smoking. I also had a tdoc one time tell me not to stop smoking while I was still very depressed. If I am not correct, I will edit, but I think that hitting the nicotinic receptors can at first have an activiating effect and then with coninued use has a calming effect.

------------------

I've read this too. At first you get the stimulant effect instantly and then the reward effect when all the neurotransmitters are released. I've never been able to quit nicotine b/c it makes me feels so dumb after a while without it but I've been able to use the gum kind of like a prophylactic against this, not as substitute to smoking. Make sense?

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Guest luli2545

Hello,

I'm smoking a lot of cigarets now.

I've quit a lot, mostly with the patch, gum, and lozenges. Once for six years, and twice for one year each, and recently for a month.

almost without fail, even with the patches, after about 3-5 weeks I get hit with a morning despair for about 5 days that is so, so,    unfair, I get histrionically tearful, .....All but one of the times I was on serzone, depakote, or imiprimine, or effexor.

One time I talked to pdoc who said that dopamine and maybe (this one's maybe made up) norepinephrine is affected.....so I'm thinking, dopamine, dopamine.....My mentally interesting cousin diagnosed with schizophrenia in the sixties smoked like 8 chimneys, was given every kind of wretched medication....died two years ago at age 52....cardio with smoking as a major cause of course I believe some of the earlier drugs may have helped her brain but not her heart. So 70-80 % schizophrenics smoke, methinks I read....and it's about the dopamine. Thorazine in the us was a big mess up really for early schizophrenAfter which they all returned to previous yukky symptoms as the thorazine had permanently altered the dopamine process...

So, I'd like to know what I can do to get whatever dopamine effect I'm needing that I'm getting from the cigarets. (Maybe the makers of Marlborough's know...afterall, they're into improved delivery, ensuring the "high"....

But really, I'd like to know about this as it could help me quit. I'm to the point of the lung stuff happening soon if I don't quit.

I may not be phrasing all this very well... but I wouldn't be so scared of quitting if I could get my brain to go along better with quitting... and by the way, so far as I have been told, I'm depressed/anxious with some ptsd stuff floating around occasionally...but I GET something important from these damned cigarets... and it's probably a complex process just like with all the meds...

Thanks for reading, hope someone knows more than I do about this, I'd like to know.

Luli2545

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Guest luli2545

this is a ps from LULI2545

The pdoc who talked about dopamine was offhand about it, the next pdoc said, well what's the problem going off nicotine, you're on the patch. But the nicotine replacement stuff delivers about half of the stated milligrams...and it's not the same....still have the 3-5 week despair thing (it does go away I figured out) and my brother who is mentally interesting same as me had the same more or less despair thing 3-5 weeks after quitting with or without the patch...several times...

oh well,

thanks

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I've been considering the nicotrol inhaler.  apparently it looks and feels similar to a cigarette and delivers the nicotine too..some heavy smokers I know had success with it. but everyone is different.

I assume you tried welbutrin too?  I did, it cut the cravings well enough but when I got bored it was right back to lighting upanyway. and I was real bored when the welbutrin kept me up all night  ;)

all I can say, as a pack a day smoker is good luck..to us all, we need it.  IT HAS BEEN DONE!  just what to replace it with. sheesh.

'doh, this post was in response to luli... m'kay

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Nicotinic Receptor Functions

Postsynaptic nicotinic receptors located in the hippocampus and cortex participate in the modulation of cognitive functions by controlling ganglionic and fast cholinergic transmission of these cerebral regions.[82] Presynaptic receptors play an important physiological role by controlling neurotransmitter release. Stimulation of nicotinic receptors influences eye movements, produces a state of euphoria, decreases fatigue and anxiety, has a central analgesic action,[83-85] and controls locomotor activity and body temperature.[69] They also control a large number of cognitive functions, such as attention, learning, sensory perception, memory consolidation and arousal.[85-93] The beneficial effect of nicotine on attention tests was demonstrated in patients with Alzheimer's disease [94,95] and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.[96,97] Nicotine and nicotinic agonists improve attention performances not only in man, but also in rodents[98-101] and primates.[102,103] According to the study by Grottick et al.,[104] the effect of nicotine on attention is mediated by α4β2 receptors. Other studies have also demonstrated the role of α7 receptors in sensory processes, such as auditory sensitivity.[105-108]

And,

Nicotinic Receptors and Schizophrenia

The incidence of smoking is very high in non-schizophrenic subjects presenting various psychiatric disorders (35 to 54%). However, the incidence of smoking is extremely high in schizophrenic patients: 80% to 90%, versus 25% to 30% of the general population. Various studies have demonstrated that the use of tobacco transiently restores the schizophrenic patient's cognitive and sensory deficits. Smoking cessation also appears to exacerbate the symptoms of the disease. Post-mortem binding studies have revealed a disturbance of nicotinic receptor expression, affecting the α7 and α4β2 subunits, in various cerebral areas. Genetic linkage studies have also shown that the α7 subunit is involved in schizophrenia.

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FWIW I've been usign nicotine medicinaly for a while now.  I kicked my cigarette addiction with the help of wellbutrin and have been smoking a pipe as needed since then.  It does more for ADD and Tourette's than anything else I've tried when used sporadicly and in large doses.  I've been smoking British Lakeland flakes and ropes recently.  They make me break out in a sweat after less than half a bowl and I remain centered for a couple hours after that. 

Check out the attached article for some talk about nicotine and ADD.

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Thanx Erika!!

Will you be running for president come next election?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well I have been found disabled by the Social Security Admin, so I guess I could qualify as a candidate now.

Thanks for the article VE.

Erika

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I've been reading some stuff that indicates a connection between the dopamine D-2 receptor and smoking. There are a couple studies that show that blocking the D-2 receptor increases smoking behavior, while agonising it does the opposite. The agonist of choice they used was bromocriptine which has been shown in another study to decrease smoking rates (compared to other pro-fertility drugs).

So bromocriptine could be a useful drug for quitting smoking. It's also an alpha-2 and 5-HT1A agonst, which could help with some of the withdrawal anxiety.

Trouble is, it's hardly prescribed these days, which makes more conservative pdocs (like mine) hesitant to RX it. But, maybe yours could be convinced to.

~cache-monkey

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Trouble is, it's hardly prescribed these days, which makes more conservative pdocs (like mine) hesitant to RX it. But, maybe yours could be convinced to.

~cache-monkey

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cache-monkey-

No offense but I'm a dude. I don't think I would ask my doc for a script for bromocriptine. I'd get some odd looks for sure. May be a good idea for the ladies.

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Trouble is, it's hardly prescribed these days, which makes more conservative pdocs (like mine) hesitant to RX it. But, maybe yours could be convinced to.

~cache-monkey

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cache-monkey-

No offense but I'm a dude. I don't think I would ask my doc for a script for bromocriptine. I'd get some odd looks for sure. May be a good idea for the ladies.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's not just prescribed for women. It's used sometimes (like Mirapex and Requip) for Parkinsons. See the entry at RxList.

~cache-monkey

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Nicotinic Receptor Functions

Postsynaptic nicotinic receptors located in the hippocampus and cortex participate in the modulation of cognitive functions by controlling ganglionic and fast cholinergic transmission of these cerebral regions.[82] Presynaptic receptors play an important physiological role by controlling neurotransmitter release. Stimulation of nicotinic receptors influences eye movements, produces a state of euphoria, decreases fatigue and anxiety, has a central analgesic action,[83-85] and controls locomotor activity and body temperature.[69] They also control a large number of cognitive functions, such as attention, learning, sensory perception, memory consolidation and arousal.[85-93] The beneficial effect of nicotine on attention tests was demonstrated in patients with Alzheimer's disease [94,95] and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.[96,97] Nicotine and nicotinic agonists improve attention performances not only in man, but also in rodents[98-101] and primates.[102,103] According to the study by Grottick et al.,[104] the effect of nicotine on attention is mediated by α4β2 receptors. Other studies have also demonstrated the role of α7 receptors in sensory processes, such as auditory sensitivity.[105-108]

And,

Nicotinic Receptors and Schizophrenia

The incidence of smoking is very high in non-schizophrenic subjects presenting various psychiatric disorders (35 to 54%). However, the incidence of smoking is extremely high in schizophrenic patients: 80% to 90%, versus 25% to 30% of the general population. Various studies have demonstrated that the use of tobacco transiently restores the schizophrenic patient's cognitive and sensory deficits. Smoking cessation also appears to exacerbate the symptoms of the disease. Post-mortem binding studies have revealed a disturbance of nicotinic receptor expression, affecting the α7 and α4β2 subunits, in various cerebral areas. Genetic linkage studies have also shown that the α7 subunit is involved in schizophrenia.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It would seem that if this were strictly the case, i.e. that nicotine acts on the neurotransmitters which seem to help alleiviate symptoms of scizophrenia, that a nicotine patch would work as well as the cigarettes themselves, but by the testimony here and my experience elsewhere, this does not seem to be the case.

This leads me to a few questions:

Could there me something in the tobacco OTHER than nicotine that is easing scizophrenia symptoms? Though it seems unlikely, it is possible.

Could the cigarettes themselves act as a mental focal point, the action itself allowing the user to concentrate on something other than the psychotic delusions?

Since scizophrenics seem to have trouble owning the volition of their actions, do all scizophrenics even know that they, themselves are smoking? (See http://usc.mundhenk.com/publications/Neuro...hizophrenia.pdf for more information on potential mirror neuron/volition breakdown in scizophrenics)

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