Schizophrenia/Nicotine Question

James Howard jmhoward at
Thu Apr 3 05:47:28 EST 1997

CDW <rastaman at> wrote:
>Recently I saw an article in the newspaper in which it was reported that 
>studies had proven a connection between heavy smoking (nicotine intake) 
>and a lessening of the severity and frequency of schizophrenic episodes. 
>The article vaguely mentioned the neurochemical basis of this, but was 
>very brief and unclear. Can anyone here please explain the chemical 
>action in the brain by which nicotine "soothes" psychotic behaviors?

James Howard responds:
I have a theory of schizophrenia, dependent upon reduced brain
development and function, due to reduction of DHEA in schizophrenics.
Smoking  increases DHEA.  I suggest the positive effect of nicotine in
schizophrenics is an increase in DHEA, and is the reason for heavy
smoking in schizophrenia.  (This increase in DHEA may be  the reason
for all nicotine consumption, and, ultimately, may be  the cause of
addiction in nicotine use and other drugs of abuse.)  My explanation
of this is in detail at on the web.

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