Nicotine will not only help to reduce anxiety and depression but works as a cognitive enhancement. Nicotine has a bad wrap because of cigarettes and cancer, but cancer is related to the chemicals in tobacco and not the nicotine.
There's a cheap, common, and mostly safe drug (nicotine), in daily use for centuries by hundreds of millions of people, that only lately has been investigated for its therapeutic potential for a long list of common ills. The list includes Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, depression and anxiety, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even pain and obesity. Why has interest in this potential cure-all been slow to develop? One reason: in its current forms the drug offers pharmaceutical companies no possibility of substantial profit. Another, perhaps more important: the drug is reviled as the world's most addictive. The drug, of course, is nicotine.
Nicotine is an alkaloid in the tobacco plant Nicotiana tabacum, which was smoked or chewed in the Americas for thousands of years before European invaders also succumbed to its pleasures and shipped it back to the Old World. Nicotine has always been regarded as medicinal and enjoyable at its usual low doses. Native Americans chewed tobacco to treat intestinal symptoms, and in 1560, Jean Nicot de Villemain sent tobacco seeds to the French court, claiming tobacco had medicinal properties and describing it as a panacea for many ailments. Higher doses are toxic, even lethal—which is why nicotine is used around the world as an insecticide. Yet few of the horrendous health effects of smoking are traceable to nicotine itself—cigarettes contain nearly 4,000 other compounds that play a role. Until recently, nicotine research has been driven primarily by nicotine's unparalleled power to keep people smoking, rather than its potential therapeutic uses. - Source - Nicotine as a Therapy - U.S. Library of Medicine
Hidden Benefits Of Nicotine.
ADHD: There is evidence dating back to the 1990s suggesting that nicotine may be useful for treating various symptoms of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). A placebo-controlled, double blind experiment was conducted in 1996 with 17 adults (6 smokers and 1l nonsmokers) all of whom either had referrals for ADHD or were diagnosed by standard DSM-IV criteria. The 11 smokers ceased from smoking for one night and were given 21 mg per day of a transdermal nicotine patch for 4.5 hours in the morning.
Antidepressant: Nicotine has been well-documented as eliciting antidepressant effects in both humans and animals. Nicotine’s mechanism of action on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is believed to affect neural pathways involved in a person’s mood, resulting in changes after ingestion. In part, nicotine’s effect on the nAChR receptors may help reduce stress, while simultaneously improving mood.
There are a number of ways by which nicotine may facilitate an antidepressant response in humans. A myriad of nicotine-induced changes such as: altered brain waves, neurotransmitter levels and receptor density changes, different regions becoming active in the brain, as well as increased CNS stimulation – may contribute to the antidepressant effect. Those with depression are often “understimulated” and nicotine exposure may increase their stimulation.
Anxiolytic: It is known that nicotine also can decrease levels of anxiety in humans and animals. The way nicotine reduces anxiety is thought to be a result of its ability to modify neural pathways that are heavily responsive to stress and anxiety. That said, the anxiolytic properties of nicotine are difficult to pinpoint, and may be chalked up to a variety of factors.
Nicotine is known to increase alpha waves, or brain waves associated with relaxation – which may help combat feelings of anxiety. Additionally, it has subtle effects as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, leading to decreased breakdown of “feel good” and relaxation-inducing neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
"Nicotine acts like a key that unlocks nicotine receptors in the brain. Usually that key opens the receptor, but at other times nicotine is like a key that has gotten broken inside of the lock. Our findings suggest that low-dose nicotine may block a specific subtype of receptor from opening that is important for regulating anxiety behavior," said Brunzell in a news release."Nicotine acts like a key that unlocks nicotine receptors in the brain. Usually that key opens the receptor, but at other times nicotine is like a key that has gotten broken inside of the lock. Our findings suggest that low-dose nicotine may block a specific subtype of receptor from opening that is important for regulating anxiety behavior," said Brunzell in a news release. - Source Medical Daily