Nicotine was apparently once thought to assist patients in dealing with schizophrenia symptoms. A recent article entitled Nicotine use does not alleviate schizophrenia symptoms cites research showing nicotine is not helpful in treating symptoms of schizophrenia.
The five year research study involved 176 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, 70% of whom maintained the same level of nicotine usage for the entire research period. In comparison to the non-smokers, smokers did not exhibit any significant difference in symptoms. The article goes on to say;
The data do not, therefore, support the self-medication theory stating that nicotine use has some sort of symptomatic benefit in alleviating treatment side-effects or cognitive impairments in schizophrenia patients, assert the researchers.
Instead, they suggest that the presence of psychotic illness interferes with the ability to stop smoking.
Lastly, the researchers suggested that those who experience psychosis are likely to start smoking sooner and continue smoking counter to trends in the Western world to decrease nicotine consumption.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Nov 2007
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Bechdel, J. (2007). Stop trying to smoke out your schizophrenia symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/11/04/stop-trying-to-smoke-out-your-schizophrenia-symptoms/