A National Research Priority Program of  
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An improved understanding of the central nervous effects of nicotine would be highly desirable from a medical as well as an economic point of view. The priority program "Nicotine: Molecular and Physiological Effects in the Central Nervous System (CNS)" has established a network comprising basic and clinical research to address questions about:

  • molecular genetic mechanisms involved in human nicotine dependence including mechanisms of genetic-environmental interactions
  • clinical phenotyping of large multicenter samples in the general population as well as in neuropsychiatric patients including withdrawal-related changes and relapse risk factors
  • functional analysis of physiological effects of nicotine and nicotine withdrawal on the brain based on neuroimaging, electrophysiologic and endocrinological analysis

The priority program encompasses 24 subprojects and includes projects on animal models for the identification of genetic risk factors, large multicenter database projects with standardized data-acquisition in the general population and relevant clinical populations, statistical projects developing methods to handle complex biological and disease trajectory data as well as neuroimaging and physiological projects studying humans and animal models.

For further information on the program, please contact the program´s scientific coordinator.