Nicotine 'protects against Parkinson's'

Posted on 02 August 2011

Nicotine protects the brain from Parkinson's disease, according to the results of a new study likely to interest patients paying for care.

The research, reported in the FASEB Journal, revealed that nicotine could rescue dopamine neurones in mice, but it did not have the effect when the animals' nicotine receptors were not present.

This indicates that there could be a possible neuroprotective treatment of patients in an early stage of the disease.

However, researcher Gerald Weissmann, said that smokers should not get "too excited".

"Even if smoking protects you from Parkinson's, you might not live long enough to develop the disease because smoking greatly increases the risk for deadly cancers and cardiovascular diseases. But now, we should be able find non-toxic ways to hit the same target," he said.

This comes after a San Fransisco VA Medical Center team discovered that smoking is a significant alterable risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Posted by Natalie Edwards

 

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