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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Progesterone improves cognitive performance and attenuates smoking urges in abstinent smokers.

BACKGROUND: Progesterone, a steroid hormone, has been implicated in many CNS functions including reward, cognition, and neuroprotection. The goal of this study was to examine the dose-dependent effects of progesterone on cognitive performance, smoking urges, and smoking behavior in smokers. METHODS: Thirty female and thirty-four male smokers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Female smokers were in the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle during study participation. Smokers were randomly assigned to either 200 or 400mg/day of progesterone or placebo, given in two separate doses, during clinic visit. The first 3 days of the treatment period, smokers abstained from smoking, which was verified with breath CO levels. Smokers attended an experimental session on day 4 where the number of cigarettes smoked were recorded starting 2h after the medication treatment. RESULTS: Progesterone treatment, 200mg/day, significantly improved cognitive performance in the Stroop and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. Progesterone at 400mg/day was associated with reduced urges for smoking but did not change ad lib smoking behavior. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest a potential therapeutic value of progesterone for smoking cessation.[1]


  1. Progesterone improves cognitive performance and attenuates smoking urges in abstinent smokers. Sofuoglu, M., Mouratidis, M., Mooney, M. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2011) [Pubmed]
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