Nicotine effects on the impact of stress
Annual rept. 1 Sep 2012-31 Aug 2013
MCLEAN HOSPITAL BELMONT MA
Pagination or Media Count:
This report describes progress in Year 1 of our 3-year award, which is designed to use animal models to understand how nicotine ingested by Soldiers via smoking or chewing tobacco affects vulnerability to develop post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. We find that rats which voluntarily self-administer nicotine have increased responsiveness to a startle white noise burst stimulus. Projected to Soldiers, this effect could be beneficial under some circumstances and disruptive under others. Following a period of nicotine abstinence, these rats also have elevated levels of fear conditioning a model of PTSD that are persistent in repeated tests. Projected to Soldiers, this is an unequivocally negative effect. It is important to remember that nicotine may prove to have beneficial effects in experimental designs that will be tested in Year 2 e.g., when nicotine self-administration is continued without a period of abstinence, and thus it is premature to make strong conclusions about whether the overall effects of nicotine on Solder behavior and fitness are helpful or harmful.
- Astronomy and Astrophysics