The Effects of Nicotine Withdrawal on Reward Responsivity in Schizophrenia
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It has been suggested that patients with schizophrenia smoke in order to produce amelioration of dysfunctional dopaminergic pathways allowing them to experience pleasure and satisfaction and overcome anhedonia. No studies have assessed the effects of nicotine withdrawal on reward responsivity in patients with schizophrenia. The investigators believe that an understanding of this is crucial if improved treatments for nicotine dependence are to be developed for this patient population. If this group already has deficits in reward responsivity as a symptom of the disease then they may be particularly prone to the effects of nicotine withdrawal on reward systems. Smoking cessation may lead to a further decrease in their responsivity to pleasurable stimuli and worsening anhedonia. Treatments for smoking cessation may need to ameliorate any increased deficits if they are likely to be effective in patients with schizophrenia.
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Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years to 60 Years (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Schizophrenia group inclusion criteria:
DSM IV diagnosis of schizophrenia with stable symptoms and a stable dose of antipsychotic medications for at least 4 weeks
Age 18-55 inclusive
Able to provide informed consent
Self reported smoking of 20 or more cigarettes per day for at least 12 months
FTND score of >/= 5
Expired air CO of >/= 10 ppm
WRAT-3 IQ score greater than or equal to 35
Normal or corrected to normal vision
Control group inclusion criteria: Same as above except for diagnosis of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia Group exclusion criteria:
Current unstable serious medical illness such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, untreated ischemic heart disease
Use of any cholinesterase inhibitor such as galantamine in the past 3 months
History of skin diseases (e.g., psoriasis), skin allergies, or strong reactions to topical preparations, medical dressings, tapes or nicotine patches
Treated with an investigational medication in the last 30 days
Currently or planning to become pregnant in the next 8 weeks as verified by positive pregnancy test or childbearing potential and not using adequate contraception
Substance abuse in the past month: Self reported or diagnosed during chart review and verified by positive salivary test for cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, ethanol, THC, opiates or PCP at screen
Current major depressive disorder
History of cognitive impairment due to other disorders such as head injury, dementia, general medical condition
Diagnosis of mental retardation
Control group exclusion criteria: Same as above except for diagnosis of schizophrenia or family history of psychiatric illness