A recent study had showed how cigarette smokers kicked the habit spontaneously after they suffered a brain stroke or injury.
It shows effects to map regions in the brain that control addiction of any kind.
Nicotine is an alkaloid that is found in certain plants, such as the Nicotiana tabacum plant that is used to produce tobacco products.
Nicotine dependence is a chronic, relapsing disease defined as a compulsive craving to use the drug, despite social consequences, loss of control over drug intake, and emergence of withdrawal symptoms.
Tolerance is another component of drug dependence.
The most commonly used tobacco product is cigarettes, but all forms of tobacco use can cause dependence.
Nicotine dependence is a serious public health problem because it leads to continued tobacco use and is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide, causing more than 8 million deaths per year.
How Brain Networks are linked with Nicotine dependence?
Repeated exposure to nicotine can cause an increase in the number of nicotinic receptors, which is believed to be a result of receptor desensitization and subsequent receptor upregulation.
This upregulation or increase in the number of nicotinic receptors significantly alters the functioning of the brain reward system.
When these receptors are not occupied by nicotine, they are believed to produce withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms can include cravings for nicotine, anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, impatience, trouble sleeping, restlessness, hunger, weight gain, and difficulty concentrating.
Neuroplasticity within the brain's reward system occurs as a result of long-term nicotine use, leading to nicotine dependence.
There are genetic risk factors for developing dependence also.
What is Neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity, also known as neural plasticity, or brain plasticity, is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization.
It is when the brain is rewired to function in some way that differs from how it previously functioned.
These changes range from individual neuron pathways making new connections, to systematic adjustments like cortical remapping.
Examples of neuroplasticity include circuit and network changes that result from learning a new ability, environmental influences, practice, and psychological stress.
Concern with Nicotine
Nicotine dependence results in substantial mortality, morbidity, and socio-economic impacts.