An article from Science NOW Daily News tells us why schizophrenics smoke. Nicotine spurs the production a key neural protein that is scarce in schizophrenics and may relieve their symptoms. Reduced levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA characterizes the brains of schizophrenia patients and without this stoplight GABA effect, signals in the schizophrenic brain overlap, resulting in hallucinations, disorganized thinking and anxiety. Previous studies have pinpointed nicotine receptors on the surface of GABA – making cells.
Mice that received a large amount of nicotine produced up to 38% less of a protein called DNA, which led to a surge in in the protein that produces GABA. Researchers speculate that high levels of nicotine switch off DNA and that’s why patients crave cigarettes because they are trying to tamp these DNA levels and get their GABA flowing.
Federal Medical Institutions have banned smoking. Is this banning of a substance needed by its schizophrenic patients immoral, unethical, and downright wrong? I believe it is.