It is hoped the Medical Research Council award will help the scientists discover improved treatments for nicotine dependence - which can result in increased rates of illness and death from smoking-related diseases - as well as treatments for the symptoms of schizophrenia.
The funding will provide a three-year fellowship for Dr Ruth Barr, a psychiatrist in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Dr Barr hopes to build on research she has carried out during a fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts on the effects of nicotine on attention and memory in schizophrenia.
The effects of nicotine withdrawal will be measured on around 40 volunteers, including both those with and without the condition.
Dr Barr said: “The reasons behind the increased need to smoke in patients with schizophrenia are unclear, although certain symptoms of this illness may increase vulnerability to nicotine dependence.
“Schizophrenia is associated with cognitive impairments – including deficits in inhibitory control which may make it more difficult for patients to resist the impulse to smoke.
“We propose to investigate the effects of nicotine and nicotine withdrawal in smokers with and without schizophrenia on response inhibition, measured using a computer task.
“Cognitive abilities are believed to get worse during nicotine withdrawal and we want to establish if this deterioration is greater in patients with schizophrenia.
“In addition, we will investigate the mechanism of nicotine’s effects on task performance using brain scanning and a measure of brain electrical activity.
“If we can understand why patients with schizophrenia are more likely to smoke it could enable us to develop new treatments for nicotine dependence and symptoms of schizophrenia.”
Dr Barr will be supervised by Professors Stephen Cooper and Professor Gavin Reynolds from the Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Lisa Mitchell | alfa
Lasagni awarded with Materials Science and Technology Prize 2017
09.10.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS
Eduard Arzt receives highest award from German Materials Society
21.09.2017 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences