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Ability to quit smoking may depend on ADHD symptoms, Columbia researchers find
Date:11/21/2008

he end of the treatment, the proportion of abstainers among A.D.H.D. smokers with inattention were nearly identical to those without A.D.H.D. (55 percent compared to 54 percent, respectively).

By contrast, the A.D.H.D. subgroup with hyperactivity, with or without inattention, exhibited lower quit rates throughout the treatment period compared to smokers without A.D.H.D., essentially finding that only in the presence of hyperactivity and impulsivity, were differences observed between smokers with or without A.D.H.D. symptoms.

"The knowledge gained from further study of how these early onset disorders of nicotine dependency and A.D.H.D. are related could lead to early prevention of either one or both of these conditions," concluded Dr. Covey. More research is needed to tease out why hyperactivity causes less cessation success.

The greater propensity to smoke and difficulty quitting among persons with mental illness is thought to play a role in the "hardening" phenomenon, or the increased resistance to smoking cessation among certain smokers.

Much evidence that nicotine improves attentiveness and performance deficits among persons with A.D.H.D. provides a "self-medicating" rationale for tobacco use among persons with A.D.H.D. Pre-clinical data showing that dopamine, a neurotransmitter relevant to attentional processes and impulse control, is released upon smoking, is consistent with the self-medication hypothesis.

A.D.H.D. is a neuropsychiatric condition that begins in early childhood and, in most cases, persists to adolescence and adulthood. The core symptom domains in A.D.H.D. are inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. A.D.H.D. has been sub-classified into three subtypes: predominantly inattention, predominantly hyperactivity/impulsivity, and combined inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.


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Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-305-3900
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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