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oemBiology oemBiology
wrote...
Posts: 1249
A month ago
How can smokers alter neural connections to alleviate addiction cravings when trying to quit, given that non-smokers find cigarette smoke unpleasant while smokers, due to nicotine addiction, find smoking pleasurable and addictive because addiction is rooted in reinforced messages within the brain's neural network?
Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions Slight Smile
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wrote...
Educator
A month ago
Here's my understanding. Nicotine acts on nicotinic cholinergic receptors, which are found in the central nervous system, autonomic ganglia, the neuromuscular junction, as well as in several non-neuronal tissues. When nicotine acts on these receptors, it triggers the release of neurotransmitters that produce psychoactive effects that are rewarding. With repeated exposure, tolerance develops to many of the effects of nicotine, thereby reducing its primary reinforcing effects and inducing physical dependence (i.e., withdrawal symptoms in the absence of nicotine). Other factors that influence smoking behavior include age, sex, genetics, mental illness, and substance abuse.

Now, smoking behavior is influenced (apart from pharmacologic feedback) by environmental factors such as smoking cues, friends who smoke, stress, and product advertising. Therefore, the first step to quitting or changing one's behavior is by altering the environment you are that's leading to the compulsion. If you ask most long-term smokers, they'll tell you they hate the smell of cigarette smoke and the impact it has made to their health. Just as non-smokers find the smell unpleasant, as do smokers, so that's not enough to get them to stop - it goes beyond this feeling of disgust unfortunately.

Remember that nicotine induces pleasure and reduces stress and anxiety. Thus, smoking a cigarette it literally the happiest moment for an addict who is addicted to nicotine. In fact, smoking improves concentration, reaction time, and performance of certain tasks. Not smoking when your body is calling for it causes the emergence of withdrawal symptoms: irritability, depressed mood, restlessness, and anxiety. The intensity of these mood disturbances is similar to that found in psychiatric outpatients.

Hope it helps!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928221/
oemBiology Author
wrote...
A month ago Edited: A month ago, oemBiology
Here's my understanding. Nicotine acts on nicotinic cholinergic receptors, which are found in the central nervous system, autonomic ganglia, the neuromuscular junction, as well as in several non-neuronal tissues. When nicotine acts on these receptors, it triggers the release of neurotransmitters that produce psychoactive effects that are rewarding. With repeated exposure, tolerance develops to many of the effects of nicotine, thereby reducing its primary reinforcing effects and inducing physical dependence (i.e., withdrawal symptoms in the absence of nicotine).  

I would like to know on whether willpower is possible to suppress this psychoactive effects or not, what is mechanism between physical dependence and willpower? which fight each other within body?
Is there any related articles about on how willpower affects on our body? such as this issue as example

Any suggestions?
Thank you very much for any suggestions Slight Smile
wrote...
Educator
A month ago
There are a lot of articles on this subject. The best free articles I found are those linked below.

Strong-willed but not successful: The importance of strategies in recovery from addiction

Addiction and free will

Alcoholism and the Loss of Willpower

Free Will and the Brain Disease Model of Addiction: The Not So Seductive Allure of Neuroscience and Its Modest Impact on the Attribution of Free Will to People with an Addiction
oemBiology Author
wrote...
3 weeks ago Edited: 3 weeks ago, oemBiology


Based on the description provided on above video, when smoking, the brain rewards us with dopamine. What are the physiological mechanisms associated with this reward, and is it necessary for us to constantly seek out dopamine rewards?

What physiological responses occur in the body when dopamine is not received, compelling us to smoke to obtain the dopamine reward?

When brain seeks out dopamine rewards, if I relax and not response to it, would this seeking activity be reduced as time goes by?  I would like to know more about this mechanism with this rewarding system.

Any suggestions?
Thank you very much for any suggestions Slight Smile
wrote...
Educator
3 weeks ago
When nicotine enters the body, it binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain, which leads to the release of various neurotransmitters, including dopamine. This release of dopamine creates feelings of pleasure and reward, reinforcing the behavior of smoking and making it addictive. Over time, with prolonged exposure to nicotine, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain become less sensitive to its effects. To counter this, it means that more nicotine is needed to activate these receptors and trigger the release of dopamine.

Now when you don't get the dopamine hit you need, you become anxious and want to rectify this feeling with more cigarette smoking. This is because low dopamine levels contribute to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and depression. Who wants to feel like that all the time?
oemBiology Author
wrote...
3 weeks ago
This release of dopamine creates feelings of pleasure and reward, reinforcing the behavior of smoking and making it addictive.

Does any organ require dopamine in order to function properly? Why do lacking of dopamine cause sadness, hopelessness, and depression.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
wrote...
Educator
3 weeks ago
To my understanding, it's multifactorial. For example, one reason why lower levels may lead to sadness is because when dopamine levels are low, signal transduction in neurons isn't as efficient because neurons interact with one another by neurotransmitters. In fact, neurons follow an all or nothing principal, where a threshold needs to be met before it fires off its signal, leading to cellular responses downstream.



In the brain, there are specialized areas that handle attention, memory, and decision-making. If those neurons aren't getting the dopamine they need to communication, the person perception is disrupted, leading to things like negative biases and thinking that contribute to feelings of sadness and pessimism.

Since dopamine is a neurotransmitter, I'd expect it to be a major player in both the central and peripheral nervous system... otherwise I'm not sure.

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