Brain changes make quitters moody

Findings from a brain imaging study may provide clues for why some individuals with heavy cigarette-smoking habits experience depressed mood upon withdrawal from smoking.

Previous research into early cigarette withdrawal has focused on nicotine’s modulation of dopamine-releasing neurons.

“However, other neural targets that may be important in cigarette withdrawal are affected by cigarette smoke,” the authors wrote.

“These results have significant implications for quitting heavy smoking and for understanding what has previously appeared to be a paradoxical association of cigarette smoking with major depressive disorder and suicide,” they added. “Understanding the neurobiology of heavy cigarette smoking is important because those who smoke heavily are much more likely to have major depressive disorder and to experience medical complications resulting from cigarette smoking.”

Read more at Archives of General Psychiatry