How Do Smoker’s Brain Change In Response To High Nicotine Levels

do smokers brain change in response

How Do Smoker’s Brain Change In Response To High Nicotine Levels

Smoker’s Brain Change In Response to Nicotine is a substance that is usually found in tobacco products, cigarettes etc. It carries significant addictive properties and prolonged consumption result in harmful effects on brain functioning. It increases the risk of use of other drugs. The nicotine consumption is quite common among all the age groups especially young adolescents. Amongst the harmful effects, the most common one is that nicotine hinders the formation of new neural connections and pathway that leads to the memory issues. Hence, the individual might ended up forgetting information or daily tasks and learning new skills. Secondly, it affects the concentration level of a person to get extent. Since, it acts as a stimulant resulting in activation of Central nervous system. However, sudden discontinuation of nicotine induces the lack of attention issues and make it difficult for the person to focus for a long duration. According to the one of study, nicotine is responsible for producing the ADHD symptoms in young adults. Thirdly, nicotine has horrific negative effects on limbic system of brain that regulates the emotions and induces mood swings that can lead to different mood disorders.

Moreover, the prolonged use of nicotine can make individual an addict due to blockage of functioning of key receptors of brain which results in difficulty in controlling impulses. Furthermore, the use to nicotine can worsen the anxiety symptoms and person experiences the constant restlessness. Some studies also provide evidences that nicotine also elevates the depressive feelings. The underlying cause of depressed feelings is the increased stress levels. Lastly, if the nicotine consumption is stopped suddenly, the person is more likely to experience the withdrawal symptoms physically, mentally, emotionally and behaviorally. There will be significant changes in behavior and mood of the person. He might behave aggressively, irritable manner. There will be frequent sleep disturbances, emotional dysregulation, fatigueless and headaches. One of the most prominent withdrawal symptom is the recurrent cravings for the nicotine. These cravings are very difficult to resist. Hence, it can be concluded that nicotine alters the brain chemistry and impairs the functioning of key neurotransmitters which can not be neglected.

To make stopping smoking even more difficult, the brain receptors can be conditioned to expect nicotine in certain situations long after you have stopped smoking. For example, if you regularly smoke when you drink alcohol, or when you are in a stressful situation, or after a meal, the nicotine receptors in your brain anticipate the dopamine rush from nicotine at that time. These “trigger” situations can cause intense cravings for a cigarette, even if you have stopped smoking for several months.

The good news is that once you stop smoking entirely, the number of nicotine receptors in your brain will eventually return to normal. As that happens, the craving response will occur less often, won’t last as long or be as intense and, in time, will fade away completely.

Because of its effects on your brain, nicotine can be powerfully addictive. For many people, overcoming nicotine addiction and successfully dealing with its withdrawal symptoms requires medical treatment. Medications are available that can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, while support and guidance from a tobacco dependence treatment program can help you learn how to change your behavior in ways that increase your chances of staying smoke-free.

If you smoke, talk to your doctor about stopping smoking. Your doctor can provide medications and support and can also refer you to treatment programs in your area that can are available to help you. Stopping smoking is a process, so take it one step at a time.



Nicotine is a tertiary amine consisting of a pyridine and a pyrrolidine ring. (S)-nicotine, found in tobacco, binds stereoselectively to nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs). (R)-nicotine, found in small quantities in cigarette smoke owing to racemization during the pyrolysis process, is a weak agonist at nAChRs.

When a person inhales smoke from a cigarette, nicotine is distilled from the tobacco and is carried in smoke particles into the lungs, where it is absorbed rapidly into the pulmonary venous circulation. It then enters the arterial circulation and moves quickly to the brain. Nicotine diffuses readily into brain tissue, where it binds to nAChRs, which are ligand-gated ion channels. When a cholinergic agonist binds to the outside of the channel, the channel opens, allowing the entry of cations, including sodium and calcium. These cations further activate voltage-dependent calcium channels, allowing further calcium entry.

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