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Aging Ment Health. 2002 May;6(2):129-38.

Nicotine's effect on neural and cognitive functioning in an aging population.

Author information

1
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824, USA. murrayk9@msu.edu

Abstract

Tobacco is a dangerous and addictive drug being consumed by more than 13% of Americans over the age of 65. Of the people in this cohort it has been estimated that between 24% and 85% experience some form of age related cognitive decline and 30-50% of the population will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease by the age of 85. Recent advances in nicotine research have pointed to a number of cognitive and neurological benefits that have been linked to the ingestion of nicotine. These discoveries hold the potential of new drugs and therapies that retain and improve upon nicotine's benefits while eliminating the negative impact that both nicotine and tobacco possess. This article examines cognitive decline in the elderly and looks at nicotine's potential role in ameliorating this decline. In service to this, the neurological and cognitive actions of nicotine are reviewed, as are theories on the neurological degeneration associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

PMID:
12028881
DOI:
10.1080/13607860220126808
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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