Tobacco compound 'staves off dementia'

Posted on 28 April 2011

A tobacco compound has been seen to combat Alzheimer's and enhance memory, scientists have said.

Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease revealed that cotinine, which is derived from tobacco, reduced the presence of Alzheimer's plaques in the brain.

The compound was seen to protect neurons, stave off Alzheimer's disease, improve memory and was also shown to be safe.

Valentina Echeverria, of Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, said: "It looks like cotinine acts on several aspects of Alzheimer's pathology in the mouse model. That, combined with the drug's good safety profile in humans, makes it a very attractive potential therapy for Alzheimer's disease."

Meanwhile, research from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow has indicated that Alzheimer's could be identified in its earliest stages, leading to possible new treatments for the condition.

The technique utilises fluorescence signals to highlight the clusters of peptide characteristic of the condition.



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