Sort of good news and a lot of bad news. The bad news? Okay. According to a study and five year long survey of over 700 carried out by researchers from the Center for Survey Research of the University of Massachusetts Boston, nicotine patches are ineffective at assisting smokers give up smoking. The study found that as little as 20 percent of those who quit smoking used a combination of nicotine patches, gums and the usual items advertised as products that can help you quit smoking. The other 80%? No effect.
The sort of good news? Nicotine patches could help patients fight off the dreaded Alzheimer’s Disease.
A study at Vanderbilt University saw to a little experiment with 67 volunteers who had memory problems, namely mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which can lead to Alzheimer’s.
The 67 volunteers were separated into two groups, one group given nicotine patches and the other fake nicotine patches.
After six months of study, the research team found that the ones who used nicotine patches actually performed better on tests that examined one’s long-term memory strength and other tests.
Researchers say that since drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease’s symptoms are aimed at blocking the breakdown of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine in this case), which “stimulates nictoine receptors and others”, the nicotine patches could be helping by further stimulating remaining receptors.
But of course, this doesn’t mean nicotine patches are magic pills that prevent Alzheimer’s.
Researchers warned that more study is needed into this particular use of nicotine patches and that people with MCI should go seek professional and medical assistance instead of rashly trying random methods (like smoking) they think may help their conditions.
(Cover Photo: Mirror.co.uk)