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Posts Tagged ‘tobacco’

Researchers say nicotine patch may help improve memory in patients with MCI. Medscape (3/11, Cassels) reported, “Transdermal nicotine treatment may help improve memory in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI),” according to a new study. The “large, double-blind, multicenter pilot study” which was presented at a psychiatric association’s meeting recently suggests “that nicotine patches improve attention, memory, and speed, with several other measures showing strong trends toward improvement.” For the study, which was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), researchers “recruited 74 nonsmoking subjects who met the criteria for amnestic MCI.” Subjects were “randomized to receive either a double-blind nicotine or placebo patch for the first 6 months of the study, followed by a 6-month crossover phase in which all subjects received active treatment.” The researchers said, “We found that over a 6-month period, 23 percent of those in the treatment group vs 9 percent of subjects in the placebo group were improved on the global assessment. This just missed statistical significance, but we believe this is because the study was slightly underpowered to detect statistical significance.”

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HealthDay (10/24, Pallarito) reported that new research suggests that people with alcoholism who also smoke may have more success recovering from alcohol dependency if they tackle both addictions simultaneously. “A study of alcoholics in treatment for their alcohol problems used brain scans to examine how performance on cognitive tests changes with abstinence from alcohol. Twenty-five alcoholics stopped drinking for six to nine months, but the 12 who smoked continued to smoke.” Dieter J. Meyerhoff, a professor of radiology at the University of California-San Francisco and study author, said, “We found that the smoking alcoholics over six to nine months of abstinence did not recover certain types of brain function as the non-smoking alcoholics did.” He added that “decision-making skills, thinking speed, 3-D visualization and short-term memory were affected, calling into question the prospects of long-term sobriety.” The findings appear in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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