From New Orleans, La., at Experimental Biology 2002
Depressed individuals are far more likely than others in the population to take up smoking–and less successful in giving up a cigarette addiction. Researchers have long suspected that depressed people "may in fact be using cigarettes as a means to self-medicate with nicotine," notes Khandra Tyler of the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She's now found evidence to support nicotine's therapeutic effect in rats that show symptoms resembling those of human depression.
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