J. Alex Grizzell

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Chronic stress underlies and/or exacerbates many psychiatric conditions and often results in memory impairment as well as depressive symptoms. Such afflicted individuals use tobacco more than the general population and this has been suggested as a form of self-medication. Cotinine, the predominant metabolite of nicotine, may underlie such behavior as it has(More)
Cotinine, the predominant metabolite of nicotine, appears to act as an antidepressant. We have previously shown that cotinine reduced immobile postures in Porsolt's forced swim (FS) and tail suspension tests while preserving the synaptic density in the hippocampus as well as prefrontal and entorhinal cortices of mice subjected to chronic restraint stress.(More)
Tobacco consumption is far higher among a number of psychiatric and neurological diseases, supporting the notion that some component(s) of tobacco may underlie the oft-reported reduction in associated symptoms during tobacco use. Popular dogma holds that this component is nicotine. However, increasing evidence support theories that cotinine, the main(More)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms for which there are currently no effective therapies. We have previously reported that cotinine, a natural product obtained from tobacco leaves, prevented memory loss and diminished amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque pathology in transgenic 6799 mice (Tg6799 mice) when treated prior to the(More)
Neuroinflammation is a common characteristic of several mental health conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia (SCHZ). Inflammatory processes trigger and/or further deteriorate mental functions and are regarded as targets for therapeutic drug development. Cotinine is an alkaloid present(More)
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a devastating disease occurring in approximately 20% of women. Women who suffer from PPD appear to be more sensitive to postpartum hormonal changes than women who do not experience this form of depression. Furthermore, women who quit smoking prior to or during pregnancy, and who develop PPD, are at an increased risk of smoking(More)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with the progressive aggregation of hyperphosphorylated forms of the microtubule associated protein Tau in the central nervous system. Cotinine, the main metabolite of nicotine, reduced working memory deficits, synaptic loss, and amyloid β peptide aggregation into oligomers and plaques as well as inhibited the cerebral(More)
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common disorder affecting both mothers and their offspring. Studies of PPD in laboratory animals have typically assessed either immobility on forced swim testing or sucrose preference in ovariectomized rats following hormone supplementation and withdrawal or in stress models. To date, few studies have related these measures(More)
Understanding the cellular mechanisms that control resistance and vulnerability to stress is an important step toward identifying novel targets for the prevention and treatment of stress-related mental illness. In Syrian hamsters, dominant and subordinate animals exhibit different behavioral and physiological responses to social defeat stress, with(More)
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic psychological stress, and major depressive disorder have been found to be associated with a significant decrease in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in the hippocampus of rodents. Cotinine is an alkaloid that prevents memory impairment, depressive-like behavior and synaptic loss when(More)
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