Nicotine Research Paper

413 Words2 Pages
Since nicotine is a fleetingly pleasurable stimulant and relaxant it effects the brain in multiple modalities. It stimulates the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine and boost the glucose in the blood stream. The intermittent nature of the re-enforcement caused by its brief effects makes it even more powerful in its addicting potential because it increases the number of times you need to re-use the stimulant to maintain effect, for an average smoker 300 doses in a day (puffs). The pharmacokinetics of the 2 mgs of nicotine absorbed from each cigarette smoked rapidly dissolving in the lipid membranes of the mucosal linings of the lungs and transported to the brain in less than 10 seconds and then being broken down. Also stopping use creates withdrawal symptoms. Most people who try to stop relapse within a few days and only a few (7) percent are able to abstain for a year or more on their own. (Psychology Today, 2015) Brain scans have shown a dose dependent curve for nicotine, that low dose nicotine increases mental arousal by activating areas in the left hemisphere of the brain and higher doses relax you by activation of the right hemisphere areas. (Wenk, 2011)…show more content…
Because nicotine binds to acetyl choline nicotinic receptors in the ventral tegmental area of the brain, changing the receptor's conformation and opening the channel to sodium ions for milliseconds on the neurons causing them to depolarize and release the dopamine reward into the nucleus acumbens where they extend into. Smoke also has an MAO inhibiting chemical that prevents the degradation of dopamine in this area increasing the available amount. And during sleep the trough in concentration resensitizes the receptors creates an uncomfortable craving to bring up the levels in the cholinergic receptors in the morning when the smoker wakes up. (Dubuc,
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