The relationship between nicotine and psychosis

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Cigarette smoking is strongly associated with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. For several decades it was assumed that the relationship could be explained by reverse causation; that smoking was secondary to the illness itself, either through self-medication or a process of institutionalization, or was entirely explained by confounding by cannabis use or social factors. However, studies have exposed that such hypotheses cannot fully explain the association, and more recently a bidirectional relationship has been proposed wherein cigarette smoking may be causally related to risk of psychosis, possibly via a shared genetic liability to smoking and psychosis. We review the evidence for these candidate explanations, using findings from the latest epidemiological, neuroimaging, genetic and preclinical work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2045125319859969
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
Early online date1 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2019


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