Nicotine a ‘fascinating drug’

| November 8, 2017

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is one of 29 sites participating in a US national study to determine whether a daily transdermal nicotine patch will have a positive effect on attention and early memory impairment in older adults diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), according to a medicalxpress.com story.
More than eight million people in the US are currently diagnosed with MCI, a condition that affects memory or other thinking skills. Recent evidence shows that adults with MCI are at a higher risk for subsequently developing Alzheimer’s disease.
MCI is diagnosed when memory problems become more apparent than would be expected in normal aging. Symptoms include memory loss, problems with attention, as well as mild difficulties learning and retaining new information.
People participating in the Memory Improvement Through Nicotine Dosing (MIND) study will participate in 12 visits over a two-year period at one of the 29 sites.
In an earlier study, adults with MCI who were prescribed the nicotine patch for six months had improved attention and memory, and there were no serious side effects or signs of nicotine withdrawal.
“These results were encouraging and justify this larger study, funded by the National Institute on Aging,” said VUMC’s Paul Newhouse, MD, Jim Turner professor of cognitive disorders and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Newhouse is the national director of the study.
“I am convinced that we will find a way to help improve early memory loss and make a real difference in people’s lives. In this study, we have an inexpensive, widely available potential treatment.”
Nicotine, a natural plant alkaloid, was a “fascinating drug with interesting properties,” Newhouse said. “People think of it as a potentially noxious substance, but it’s a plant-derived medication just like a lot of other medications.”
The medicalxpress.com story is at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-11-explores-nicotine-patch-mild-cognitive.html.

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Category: Breaking News, Harm reduction, Science

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