Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nicotine can protect the brain from Parkinson's disease, research suggests

Date:
August 1, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
If you've ever wondered if nicotine offered society any benefit, a new study offers a surprising answer. Nicotine can protect the brain against Parkinson's disease, the research suggests, and the discovery of how nicotine does this may lead to entirely new types of treatments for the disease.

If you've ever wondered if nicotine offered society any benefit, a new study published in The FASEB Journal offers a surprising answer. Nicotine can protect the brain against Parkinson's disease, the research suggests, and the discovery of how nicotine does this may lead to entirely new types of treatments for the disease.

"This study raises the hope for a possible neuroprotective treatment of patients at an early step of the disease or even before at a stage where the disease has not been diagnosed according to motor criteria," said Patrick P. Michel, co-author of the study from the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, in Paris, France.

To make this discovery, scientists used mice genetically engineered without a specific nicotine receptor (the alpha-7 subtype) and mice with a functional receptor. Using tissue from mouse embryos, researchers prepared brain cultures using conditions that favor the slowly progressing loss of dopamine neurons, a hallmark of the disease. The scientists found that nicotine had the potential to rescue dopamine neurons in cultures from normal mice, but not in cultures from mice without the nicotine receptor. These findings suggest that it may be feasible to develop novel therapies for Parkinson's disease that target nicotine receptors, particularly the alpha-7 nicotine receptor.

"If you're a smoker, don't get too excited," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Even if smoking protects you from Parkinson's, you might not live long enough to develop the disease because smoking greatly increases the risk for deadly cancers and cardiovascular diseases. But now, we should be able find non-toxic ways to hit the same target."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Toulorge, S. Guerreiro, A. Hild, U. Maskos, E. C. Hirsch, P. P. Michel. Neuroprotection of midbrain dopamine neurons by nicotine is gated by cytoplasmic Ca2. The FASEB Journal, 2011; 25 (8): 2563 DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-182824

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Nicotine can protect the brain from Parkinson's disease, research suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801111738.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, August 1). Nicotine can protect the brain from Parkinson's disease, research suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801111738.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Nicotine can protect the brain from Parkinson's disease, research suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801111738.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins