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Homeparkinsons disease
Oct 25
2007

Addictive Drug Offers Parkinson's Relief

Nicotine Parkinsons

We've all heard about the dangers of tobacco, but recent research shows that nicotine, the main active ingredient of tobacco, may be just the treatment needed to help Parkinson's patients.

Studies completed by the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center show that intermittent nicotine treatment can reduce dyskinesias (uncontrolled movements) by up to 50 percent. Dyskinesias is a complication that arises with long-term use of Levodopa, the most common drug used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects muscle movements, walking, speech, and posture. It is caused by the destruction of nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, the chemical messenger that controls muscle movement.

The focus on nicotine was prompted by research that showed smokers were 50% less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than nonsmokers as well as by studies indicating that nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine in the part of the brain affected by Parkinson's. No one is advocating smoking, but the information on nicotine can be used by researchers to develop an effective treatment that can help Parkinson's patients.

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