Researchers using nicotine patches to treat memory loss

MIAMI, Fla. — Researchers are trying to determine if nicotine can be used to combat memory loss.

The MIND Study is a new clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health in partnership with the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, Vanderbilt University and University of Southern California.

Dr. Paul Newhouse is director of the Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of the study.  He spoke to News 96.5 WDBO about the study and how nicotine may help older people with memory loss.

“It stimulates a type of neurochemical system that is important for learning, memory, and attention.  What we’ve done is try to expand that to see if we can help people with actual memory loss,” said Newhouse.

Dr. Newhouse explains the researchers are using nicotine skin patches to deliver the drug rather than smoking or vaping.

“We think that by giving it via skin patch, we can avoid most of the side effect problems that people have seen before and the risks, and that way, we can get the benefits of nicotine on brain function without some of the risks and side effects,” said Newhouse.

Dr. Newhouse and his team are looking for volunteers for the study.

If you're interested, contact Brain Matters Research in Delray Beach or Miami Jewish Health Systems in Miami.

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