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Anxiety And Agitation In Smoking Schizophrenic Patients A Retrospective Study
Cigarette smoking and smoking cessation are highly pertinent in the care of patients with schizophrenia The mesolimbic dopaminergic systems, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), are brain areas thought to be responsible for the reinforcing effects of many drugs, including nicotine. Nicotinic receptor activation also causes the release of other neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, and others. Nicotine exerts its actions by biding to nicotinic receptors in the brain. Patients with schizophrenia smoke approximately three times the rate of the general population, with prevalence rates of about 90. Studies have found that heavy smoking among individuals with schizophrenia is associated with higher levels of positive symptoms and decreased negative symptoms Purpose of this study is to assess anxiety by comparing the amount of anti-anxiety/ anti agitation medication use in smoking versus nonsmoking schizophrenics. This retrospective chart review is a study in a three month time period. This study has been conducted from Aug 1st 2011 to Oct 31th 2011. In this preliminary study smokers tend to have more anxiety and agitation episodes and use more number of as-needed medications to relieve symptoms of anxiety and agitation than nonsmoker schizophrenics. A larger prospective study is warranted.