Saturday, July 17, 2004
We always thought it was a hell of a drug, apart from the fact that it kills you. From the Observer:
Nicotine could soon be rehabilitated as a treatment for schizophrenia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as hyperactivity disorders.
Research shows that the chemical that has addicted millions to smoking has a powerful impact on brain activity in patients who suffer from psychiatric and degenerative disorders.
Some experiments have shown that nicotine can slow down the onset of Parkinson's symptoms; others have had revealed its power in curtailing the hallucinations of schizophrenics.
'A whole range of psychiatric conditions seem to be helped by nicotine,' said Dr Dan McGehee, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago. 'However, such benefits do not justify smoking. The lethal effects of cigarettes far outweigh any help they provide. On the other hand, our research does suggest that derivatives of nicotine, administered medically, could help to alleviate a range of psychiatric problems.'