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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Jan;141(1):11-5.

Smoking withdrawal, nicotine dependence and prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, UK.


The present study examined the relationship between nicotine dependence as measured by the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire (FTQ) and prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex measured after overnight smoking withdrawal in a non-clinical population of male smokers with no history of psychiatric disorders or drug/alcohol abuse. It was found that smokers who scored high (>median) on the FTQ showed significantly less PPI as compared to those scoring low (<median) on this scale. This finding further supports a role for nicotine in modulation of PPI, as has previously been found in rats and also in human beings.

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