AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Can Nicotine Protect the Aging Brain?

Texas A&M research shows how this component of cigarettes might actually be beneficial on its own

Everyone knows that tobacco products are bad for your health, and even the new e-cigarettes may have harmful toxins. However, according to research at Texas A&M, it turns out the nicotine itself – when given independently from tobacco – could help protect the brain as it ages, and even ward of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Ursula Winzer-Serhan, PhD, as associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and her collaborators found that nicotine’s ability to be neuroprotective may be partly due to its well-known ability to suppress the appetite. Using animal models, Winzer-Serhan and her collaborators added nicotine to the animal’s drinking water. There were three different groups that received nicotine at three different concentrations (low, medium and high) corresponding to occasional, low and medium smokers, respectively, in addition to a control group that did not receive any nicotine. To read more, click here.

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