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quote:Nicotine is an organic compound, a pyrrolidine-like alkaloid found naturally in the nightshade family of plants, such as tobacco and tomatoes. Nicotine seems to provide both a stimulant and a depressant effect, and it is likely that the effect it has at any time is determined by the mood of the user, the environment and the circumstances of use. Studies have suggested that low doses have a depressant effect, whilst higher doses have stimulant effect. In addition to the tobacco plant, nicotine is also found in lower quantities in other members of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, which includes tomato, potato, eggplant (aubergine), and green pepper. Nicotine alkaloids are also found in the leaves of the coca plant. In small doses nicotine has a stimulating effect, increasing activity, alertness and memory. Repeat users report a pleasant relaxing effect. It also increases the heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the appetite. In large doses it may cause vomiting and nausea. The LD50 of nicotine (that is, the lethal dosage reported to kill 50% of the population) is 50 mg/kg for rats and 3 mg/kg for mice. 40–60 mg can be a lethal dosage for adult human beings.
quote:The reason we are interested in studying the nicotinic receptors in relation to Parkinson's disease is because previous research has suggested that some of the movement problems experienced by Parkinson patients are less severe after smoking a cigarette, chewing nicotine gum or using the nicotine patch. As well, nicotine may help to lessen memory difficulties which occur in some people with Parkinson's disease. Research also suggests that Parkinson's disease occurs less frequently in people who smoke or use other tobacco products, and that it is nicotine which is responsible for these positive effects.
quote:esearchers have long been aware that fewer smokers get Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases than non-smokers. Up to April l992, of the 17 studies on Alzheimer's and smoking which had been published in peer-reviewed journals, 13 reported a reduced risk for smokers and only four found no difference between smokers and non-smokers. Similar findings have been published on the effect of smoking and Parkinson's disease.In an article in The Times of London (9/7/93), Dr. James Le Fanu provided an examination of the research on smoking and its apparent protective effect for certain diseases. Dr. Le Fanu stated unequivocally: "Smokers have a 50 per cent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's--and the more smoked the greater the protection." He also noted that emerging research points to a similar effect of smoking on Parkinson's disease.
quote:Originally posted by ukmickyAs appetite is both a mental as well as a physical process and therefore is linked to enjoyment of food through taste then I would say yes in a way smoking cigarettes is an appetite suppressant as it dulls the taste buds and even changes the actual taste of food usually for the worse. Which is a good reason why not to smoke.Michael
quote:f you want to increase the level of a chemical inside the body, you could make more of the chemical. Or you could interfere with the body's mechanism for destroying it.Recent information concerning dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and well-being, indicates that cigarette smoke might use both techniques for raising dopamine levels. If true, it could have serious consequences for smoking cessation programs.
quote:Dopamine, a neurochemical typically linked to mood, also plays a role in controlling appetite. It is responsible for transmitting reward signals within the brain in response to attractive stimuli including food, drugs and sex. "Obese subjects, however, seem to need to eat lots more food than a person of normal weight to feel satisfied and full," explains lead researcher Gene-Jack Wang, M.D., of Brookhaven Lab, whose research was recently published in The Lancet.Using brain imaging, the researchers found that the heavier the individual, the less dopamine there is in his or her brain. So, overeating may be a desperate attempt to trigger that pleasurable sensation that follows a Thanksgiving dinner.What remains unclear is whether obese people have fewer dopamine receptors to begin with, or if their brains have shut down some of the receptors in response to chronic overeating, in an attempt to prevent the release of excess dopamine. The hope is that the findings may one day lead to strategies aimed at improving dopamine function. "Right now, it's just a concept," says Wang. "We have drugs that modulate dopamine, but the problem is they're addictive." A safer route to go, he says, may be for people to join an overeaters support group. Or, better yet, to exercise--luckily, physical activity increases dopamine too.
quote:Originally posted by neilepWhy not just eat cigarettes ?