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The Effects of Smoking and Memory in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Proposal

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Event

Abstract

The Effects of Smoking and Memory in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Proposal

By Kathryn E. Kalvoda and Andrew D. Ronquillo

Many individuals suffer with high stress and life-changing memories. These memories are hard to erase and many are forced to deal with them for the rest of their lives. These experiences can cause an increase in vulnerability to a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder in which recurrent thoughts of traumatic events detrimentally influence an individual’s quality of life. One particular source of stress reduction is to engage in smoking cigarettes. Smoking in general leads to many health problems. This is why it is important to study the relationship between memory functioning in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder and smoking. Based on these research findings, we propose a study examining the possible difference of memory organization between individuals with PTSD who smoke and those who do not smoke.

Our hypothesis is as follows: smoking is shown to be a short term coping strategy, so it initially may provide the individual with relief from cognitive and affective symptoms. However, oxygen deprivation to the hippocampus of the brain negatively impacts memory processing thus possibly adding to the disorganization of the traumatic memory and increasing its resistance to treatment. Details of the proposed study will be presented including inclusion criteria and method of choice based on past research findings.

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The Effects of Smoking and Memory in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Proposal

The Effects of Smoking and Memory in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Proposal

By Kathryn E. Kalvoda and Andrew D. Ronquillo

Many individuals suffer with high stress and life-changing memories. These memories are hard to erase and many are forced to deal with them for the rest of their lives. These experiences can cause an increase in vulnerability to a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder in which recurrent thoughts of traumatic events detrimentally influence an individual’s quality of life. One particular source of stress reduction is to engage in smoking cigarettes. Smoking in general leads to many health problems. This is why it is important to study the relationship between memory functioning in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder and smoking. Based on these research findings, we propose a study examining the possible difference of memory organization between individuals with PTSD who smoke and those who do not smoke.

Our hypothesis is as follows: smoking is shown to be a short term coping strategy, so it initially may provide the individual with relief from cognitive and affective symptoms. However, oxygen deprivation to the hippocampus of the brain negatively impacts memory processing thus possibly adding to the disorganization of the traumatic memory and increasing its resistance to treatment. Details of the proposed study will be presented including inclusion criteria and method of choice based on past research findings.