Research Topic

Brain effects of Nicotine and derived compounds

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Epidemiological studies have associated tobacco consumption with a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The neuroprotective effect of tobacco has been mainly attributed to the stimulation by nicotine of the a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are ...

Epidemiological studies have associated tobacco consumption with a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The neuroprotective effect of tobacco has been mainly attributed to the stimulation by nicotine of the a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are implicated in neuronal survival, attention, and memory. A reduction in cholinergic function including lower levels of the expression of nAChRs in the hippocampus correlates with memory impairment in AD and schizophrenia. nicotine main metabolite cotinine shows similar neuroprotective and mnemonic properties. Also cotinine reduced Alzheimer’s pathology in a mouse model of the disease. Tobacco-derived compounds can be beneficial in a broad range of neurological disorders such as schizophrenia, AD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and PD as well as in diminishing tobacco withdrawal. In the latest years numerous new discoveries in this research area have been achieved and a Research Topic publication is needed.


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