Can Smoking Help Treat Schizophrenia? New Research Suggests So

CBS Local– There are few things we agree on as a society, but one of them is the accepted notion that smoking is simply unhealthy. It’s inextricably linked with too many negative side effects to concisely name.

But, smoking might be good for schizophrenic patients? According to a study published in Nature Medicine, research suggests that nicotine may be beneficial for those living with schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia affects more than 21 million people across the globe as doctors continue to search for remedies for the severe mental condition.

But how could nicotine help? Well, doctors are working under the theory that hypofrontality is responsible for many of the cognitive problems that come with schizophrenia and their research has concluded that smoking is found to correct hypofrontality.

“Basically the nicotine is compensating for a genetically determined impairment,” says Jerry Stitzel, one of the study’s authors and researcher at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics. “No one has ever shown that before.”

Stitzel reckons the study is conclusive.

“Our study provides compelling biological evidence that a specific genetic variant contributes to risk for schizophrenia, defines the mechanism responsible for the effect, and validates that nicotine improves that deficit,” said Stitzel.

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