Nicotine Effects on the Impact of Stress
Annual rept. 1 Sep 2013 - 31 Aug 2014
HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL BOSTON MA
Pagination or Media Count:
Tobacco use smoking, chewing is prevalent in Soldiers. Nicotine has two major effects that could influence Soldier behavior and fitness anti-anxiety anxiolytic effects that can have calming actions, and increases in alertness and cognitive function that can enhance aversive or traumatic memories. It is currently unknown if nicotine use increases or decreases vulnerability to the development stress-related illnesses such as posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD. It is known, however, that people with PTSD are more likely to smoke when experiencing symptoms. These people report that smoking relieves their symptoms even though objective metrics indicate that it produces increases in hallmark signs of PTSD, such as elevated responsiveness to a startle stimulus e.g., a white noise burst. It should be emphasized that nicotine effects on the development of PTSD is a separate question from whether or not people with PTSD smoke, and an important one because it represents an issue for which a research-driven policy change could affect Soldier health.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Organic Chemistry