Vanderbilt to research nicotine therapies as possible cure for Alzheimer’s

Vanderbilt to research nicotine therapies as possible cure for Alzheimer’s

Scientists from Vanderbilt University now researching whether nicotine therapies might offer previously unknown health benefits for Alzheimer’s patients by improving their cognitive memory.  With further investigation, they may even discover a way to stop memory impairment in its tracks, if not reverse its damaging effects entirely.  These nicotine therapies could theoretically come in numerous forms, including transdermal patches, intravenous injections, or even inhalants via vaping devices.

Nicotine research by Vanderbilt scientists is nothing new.  In fact, Dr. Paul Newhouse of Vanderbilt’s Center for Cognitive Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, discovered in 2012 a link between the alkaloid found in nicotine and improved neurological functions in patients suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).  The findings are published in a peer-reviewed paper entitled Nicotine treatment of mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month double-blind pilot clinical trial.  The report focusing primarily on transdermal applications is published via the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NCBI).

Vanderbilt’s Newhouse announces new nicotine study to commence

Building upon this previous research, Dr. Newhouse and his Vanderbilt team has recently announced the commencement of an additional research project nicknamed MIND (Memory Improvement Through Nicotine Dosing).  The prior 2012 clinical trial lasted 6-months and involved a small control group of 55 elderly patients diagnosed with MCI.  The new MIND study will consist of over 300 participants and last a full 2-years. 

“People think of [Nicotine] as a potentially noxious substance, but it’s a plant-derived medication just like a lot of other medications.” 
“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.”
-  Paul Newhouse, Director, Lead Researcher of Vanderbilt’s MIND Project

The vaping community is well aware that nicotine has a bad reputation within the general population, and Dr. Newhouse seemingly agrees.  Nicotine is a natural-occurring substance found in many plants and vegetables including eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes.  But its close association with combustible tobacco and the resulting highly-carcinogenic, second-hand smoke has forever given nicotine a negative connotation.

Here’s hoping that Dr. Newhouse’s research team discovers a miraculously marvelous medical breakthrough that can benefit Alzheimer’s patients around the world and for generations to come.  Well done, Dr. Newhouse.  Well done. 

Related Article: VAPING & DEPRESSION: VANDERBILT STUDY FOCUSES ON NICOTINE AS ANTI-DEPRESSANT

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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