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Smoking reinstatement in major depressive disorder

Institution: University of Southern California
Investigator(s): Raina Pang, B.S.
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 28) Grant #: 28IR-0048H Award: $1,255,153
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: High Impact Research Project Award

Initial Award Abstract

Individuals with depression—mental illness that causes persistant feelings of sadness, loss of interest, or irritable mood—are more likely to smoke. When smokers with depression attempt to quit smoking, they are less likely to successfully quit smoking. Thus, it is important to better understand why smokers with depression are unable to stop smoking. Individuals with depression have a hard time managing and responding to emotional experiences, which may result in high negative mood in response to difficult situations throughout the day. Smokers with depression may use smoking as a way to cope with these situations and relieve negative mood symptoms. Additionally, individuals with depression have differences in hormones in the brain. Specifically, individuals with depression may have lower Dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA(S)], which may increase the likelihood of returning to smoking during a quit smoking attempt. Lastly, women are more likely than men to experience depression and may be more likely to return to smoking as a way to cope with negative mood. Taken together, this laboratory study will test whether increased changes in negative mood and decreased DHEA(S) in MDD associates with smoking in a lab based task. We will also test whether these associations are greater in women compared to men.