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Polygence Scholar2022
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Kayla Roth

Aragon High schoolClass of 2023



  • "Understanding nicotine addiction and dependence" with mentor Chiaki (Oct. 10, 2022)

Project Portfolio

Understanding nicotine addiction and dependence

Started May 23, 2022

Abstract or project description

Nicotine addiction has been a problem in the US since ___ and has contributed to increased rates of lung cancer. ___% of the US population is currently addicted to nicotine, and yet, there are no viable treatment options that work to subside symptoms greatly. While over half of adult smokers will attempt to quit in their lifetime, only (%) actually succeed. Understanding the brain changes associated with nicotine use is crucial to better support those who have the means to quit, but in the end, are unsuccessful. When attempting to quit, nicotine users can experience sometimes severe withdrawal systems, including irritability, difficulty concentrating and more. In order to understand what causes people to become so dependent on nicotine, we need to better understand how the brain’s reward pathway works, and more specifically, how the dopamine system changes with routine nicotine use. Once we gain this understanding in the field, we will be able to find better methods to treat nicotine addiction.