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How can we Improve on Modeling Nicotine Addiction to Develop Better Smoking Cessation Treatments?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mohammed Shoaib, Yazead Buhidma


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Clinically effective smoking cessation treatments are few in number, mainly varenicline, bupropion, and nicotine replacement therapy being prescribed by health organizations. Of the many compounds tested for smoking cessation, a good proportion fail in human trials despite positive findings in rodents. This chapter aims to cover the uses and some pit falls of current methodologies employed to discover clinical treatments in the laboratory. Complicating factors include the complex nature of genetics in tobacco smoking and the comorbidity associated with other psychiatric disorders, which has not been addressed fully in the rodent laboratory. This chapter reviews the evidence from intravenous nicotine self-administration studies and proposes modifications on how we can improve the validity of the animal models by incorporating clinically relevant factors considered to be critical in tobacco smoking. For example, choice procedures that incorporate alternative reinforcers, use of reinstatement models, and second-order schedules of reinforcement are proposed to have better scientific validity that may lead to better clinical outcomes. Furthermore, improved experimental methods will also improve our chances of discovering effective treatments that ultimately may mitigate the effects of tobacco smoking with regard to health worldwide.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shoaib M, Buhidma Y

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Review of Neurobiology

Year: 2016

Volume: 126

Pages: 121-156

Print publication date: 01/01/2016

Online publication date: 14/03/2016

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 0074-7742



DOI: 10.1016/bs.irn.2016.02.008