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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011 Jan;36(1):123-32. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.07.005. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

Progesterone improves cognitive performance and attenuates smoking urges in abstinent smokers.

Author information

  • 1Yale University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA. Mehmet.Sofuoglu@yale.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Progesterone, a steroid hormone, has been implicated in many CNS functions including reward, cognition, and neuroprotection. The goal of this study was to examine the dose-dependent effects of progesterone on cognitive performance, smoking urges, and smoking behavior in smokers.

METHODS:

Thirty female and thirty-four male smokers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Female smokers were in the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle during study participation. Smokers were randomly assigned to either 200 or 400mg/day of progesterone or placebo, given in two separate doses, during clinic visit. The first 3 days of the treatment period, smokers abstained from smoking, which was verified with breath CO levels. Smokers attended an experimental session on day 4 where the number of cigarettes smoked were recorded starting 2h after the medication treatment.

RESULTS:

Progesterone treatment, 200mg/day, significantly improved cognitive performance in the Stroop and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. Progesterone at 400mg/day was associated with reduced urges for smoking but did not change ad lib smoking behavior.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest a potential therapeutic value of progesterone for smoking cessation.

PMID:
20675057
PMCID:
PMC2987547
DOI:
10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.07.005
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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