Literature review: Impact of nicotine use on the brain in schizophrenia patients
Project: Literature thesis
Duration: 2-3 months
Location: Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, psychiatry department
Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions and cognitive deficits that often lead to impaired functional outcomes. The rate of cigarette smoking among schizophrenia patients is around 60-70%, which is two to three times higher than in the general population. Shared neurobiological abnormalities in schizophrenia and nicotine dependence likely contribute to increased smoking and low cessation rates in smokers with schizophrenia. Since such an large amount of the patients with schizophrenia smoke cigarettes, the focus of our research is the impact that nicotine use has on the brain in these patients, assessed with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRI).
The aim of the project is to conduct a systematic review of the available literature on neuroimaging MRI research on nicotine use in schizophrenia, looking at both structural and functional differences. If possible based on the available literature, we will also perform a meta-analysis.
This project offers the opportunity to learn the widely applicable skills of performing a systematic review and meta-analysis. Furthermore, the student will gain in-depth knowledge of neurodegeneration in schizophrenia, addiction to nicotine and MRI.
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