Navigation Links
Nicotine - New Role in Prevention of Parkinson’s Diseas

Recent studies show that brain damage similar to that which occurs in Parkinson’s disease and be prevented by nicotine treatment. In this study, the laboratory animals// were treated with MPTP; an agent causing gradual loss of brain functions, a condition typical of Parkinson’s disease. Nicotine was chronically administered to some of the test animals for a period of 6months while the others were not given any. The former showed 25% less damage caused by MPTP than the latter.

This protective effect may explain the lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease among smokers. The results also suggest that nicotine may be useful as a potential therapy in the treatment of early-stage Parkinson’s patients.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease caused by the death of small clusters of cells in the midbrain. The gradual loss of these cells results in reduction of a critical transmitter called dopamine, the chemical messenger responsible for normal movement.

“While we would never recommend that people smoke, these results suggest that nicotine promotes the survival of dopamine-producing cells in animals with no overt Parkinson’s symptoms,” said David A. Schwartz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the federal agency that provided funding for the study. “These findings also have implications for its use in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s.”

Most of the research on tobacco has focused on its detrimental health effects. However, studies conducted over the last 40 years show that the incidence of Parkinson’s disease is about 50 percent less in smokers than in the general population. “These studies were giving us clues that something in the smoke was reducing the incidence of Parkinson’s,” said Maryka Quik, Ph.D., a senior research scientist with The Parkinson’s Institute and lead author on the study.

Based on these findings, the researchers wondered what compound i n cigarette smoke could be causing this effect. “We decided to focus our attention on nicotine because studies have shown that nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain region that is associated with Parkinson’s,” said Quik.

To test their theory, the researchers treated experimental animals with MPTP, an agent that selectively destroys the dopamine-producing brain cells. Half of the animals also received a low-dose administration of nicotine over a six-month period. During this time, the nicotine dose was gradually increased to a level typically found in cigarette smoke.

The test results showed that animals receiving only the MPTP suffered a 75 percent loss of function in their dopamine-containing brain cells. When the researchers tested the animals that had received both MPTP and nicotine, the damage in the dopamine cells was only 50 percent. “The results suggested that the nicotine treatment had reduced the cell damage by 25 percent,” said Quik.

While there is no immediate explanation for this effect, the researchers believe the nicotine may stimulate the release of naturally occurring proteins called growth factors that play a key role in nerve cell growth and repair. “It is also possible that the nicotine may activate the immune system to protect the cells from MPTP-induced damage,” said Quik.

According to Quik, Parkinson’s disease symptoms only start to develop when 80 to 90 percent of dopamine in striatal nerve terminals is depleted. “This means that a reduction in terminal damage from 80 to 60 percent can mean the difference between having disease symptoms and being symptom-free,” said Quik.

While treatments currently available for Parkinson’s disease are limited to the day to day relief of symptoms, nicotine may someday be used to reduce or even prevent the progression of the disease. “With current symptomatic therapies, the progress of the disease is not halted and, symptoms become worse and m ore difficult to control,” said Quik. “With neuroprotection, a patient could receive treatment that would halt the disease progress and prevent symptoms from getting worse.”
(Source: Eurekalert)

Related medicine news :

1. Kick Smoking with Nicotine Drink
2. Teens Misusing Nicotine-Replacement Products
3. Nicotine Vaccine May Help Smokers To Quit Smoking
4. Nicotine patches instead of cigarettes – New Year resolutio
5. Nicotine Patches help to quit smoking
6. Reliable Help For Smokers From Nicotine Patches and Former Smokers
7. So Called Benefits of Nicotine
8. Research Finds That Nicotine Hastens The Growth Of Lung Cancer
9. Is Nicotine Lozenge A Safe Smoking Cessation Product?
10. Chantix: Disenchanting Smokers from Nicotine
11. Researchers Locate Genetic Link for Nicotine Dependence Among African Americans
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain ... for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it ... the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced ... BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution ... this clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in ... sepsis risk assessment and management. PCT is ... levels in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- , , , WHEN: , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free ... EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President ... Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: