View Full Version : ADHD and Nicotine

06-26-12, 12:14 AM
Interesting research.

Not Sure if this topic is better,

in the science section,

in the medication section,

or in the addiction section?

Acute nicotine improves cognitive deficits in young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

The strong association between ADHD and cigarette smoking and the known effects of nicotine on cognition has lead to interest in the role of cholinergic function in ADHD cognitive deficits. We have previously demonstrated that acute nicotine improves behavioral inhibition in adolescents with ADHD. This study examined acute nicotine in young adults with ADHD-Combined type on cognitive domains including behavioral inhibition, delay aversion, and recognition memory.
15 non-smoking young adults (20+/-1.7 years) diagnosed with ADHD-C received acute nicotine (7 mg patch for 45 min) and placebo on separate days. Cognitive tasks included the Stop Signal Task, Choice Delay task, and the High-Low Imagery Task (a verbal recognition memory task). Three subjects experienced side effects and their data was excluded from analysis of cognitive measures.
There was a significant (p<.05) positive effect of nicotine on the Stop Signal Reaction Time measure of the Stop Signal Task. The SSRT was improved without changes in GO reaction time or accuracy. There was a trend (p=.09) for nicotine to increase tolerance for delay and a strong trend (p=.06) for nicotine to improve recognition memory.
Non-smoking young adults with ADHD-C showed improvements in cognitive performance following nicotine administration in several domains that are central to ADHD. The results from this study support the hypothesis that cholinergic system activity may be important in the cognitive deficits of ADHD and may be a useful therapeutic target.

06-26-12, 08:42 AM
There have been a couple of threads floating around over the years that deal with this. I believe that a couple of the drug companies, including potentially Shire, are working on cholinergic (the neurotransimitter that nicotine modulates) drugs for the treatment of ADHD. Cholinergic drugs like aricept are already in use for the treatment of Alzheimer's, but the mechanism of action of the drugs that are being looked at for ADHD is different.

Potter and Newhouse (sp?) are the 2 researchers who've looked into using the nicotine patch as a treatment for ADHD.

Here are a couple of old threads:

06-26-12, 09:22 AM
wow 7 MG! And to non smokers :confused: I wonder why they were not too busy vomiting to do any congnitive tasks.

06-26-12, 01:41 PM
wow 7 MG! And to non smokers :confused: I wonder why they were not too busy vomiting to do any congnitive tasks.

Thanks Eeyore and TigerSan.

That is a point I never thought,

I should have because personally I have never liked nicotine.

I feel like I am airplane crashing to the ground.

Smoked one day when I was about ten.

I wonder if it could point to slight differences in brain chemistry.(commorbids)?

I don't know.

Very interesting topic.

Mode of injestion is another factor?

I wonder if the patch is a slower release and unlike smoking doesn't go to the brain as quickly?

I don't know?

I have always been interested about this topic.

Because I noticed a big difference in some people who smoke when they do at work etc.

One of my friends starts biting his hand (not hard) without being aware when he doesn't have a cigarette available.

I want to explore this topic more.