Nicotine For Alzheimer's Disease
Nicotine, the main substance found in cigarettes,can increase or decrease the risk of getting alzheimer's
disease. Heavy smoking increases the risk of getting the disease [133-134]. The
large Rotterdam Study reports that current smokers have more than four times the
risk of getting alzheimer's disease, compared with current non-smokers [135.
Light cigarette smoking,however, seems to decrease risk. One study analyzed the
reports of 18 studies of nicotine and alzheimer's disease; 15 of 18 studies
found light smoking actually decreases alzheimer risk, on average, by 36 percent
Because mild nicotine seems to decrease risk of
alzheimer's disease, some researchers have given alzheimer patients nicotine.
One study gave 14 to 21 milligrams of nicotine daily to patients, via dermal
plaster. Nicotine did not alter cognition . Another study gave nicotine in
skin patches. The treatment did not improve cognition, but did improve the
alertness of patients .