Nicotine is Neuroprotective + Poll.

Do you smoke?

  • I do currently.

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • I did in the past.

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • I use nicotine replacement products.

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • I have never smoked.

    Votes: 9 64.3%

  • Total voters
    14

Remy

Administrator
Nicotine is a wonder drug. It helps with metabolism and has shown to be neuroprotective. Now we just have to find a delivery model that doesn't include smoking.

This article shows how nicotine inhibits calcium channels which protects against glutamate induced neurotoxicity.

Calcium channels again.

I'm curious how many of us are current or former smokers?


J Neurosci. 2003 Nov 5;23(31):10093-9.
Neuroprotection by nicotine in mouse primary cortical cultures involves activation of calcineurin and L-type calcium channel inactivation.
Stevens TR1, Krueger SR, Fitzsimonds RM, Picciotto MR.
Author information


Abstract

Regulation of intracellular calcium influences neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, gene expression, and neurotoxicity.

In this study, we investigated the role of calcium in mechanisms underlying nicotine-mediated neuroprotection from glutamate excitotoxicity.

Neuroprotection by nicotine in primary cortical cultures was not seen in knock-out mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Neuroprotection was partially blocked in wild-type cultures by alpha-bungarotoxin, an antagonist of the alpha7 nAChR subtype, suggesting a potential cooperative role for these subtypes. Pretreatment with nicotine decreased glutamate-mediated calcium influx in primary cortical cultures by 41%, an effect that was absent in cultures from knock-out mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the nAChR. This effect was dependent on calcium entry through L-type channels during nicotine pretreatment in wild-type cultures. The ability of nicotine to decrease glutamate-mediated calcium influx was occluded by cotreatment with nifedipine during glutamate application, suggesting that nicotine pretreatment decreased subsequent activity of L-type calcium channels. Treatment with the calcineurin antagonists FK506 and cyclosporine during pretreatment eliminated both nicotine-mediated neuroprotection and the effects of nicotine on L-type channels.

We conclude that neuroprotective effects of nicotine in cortical neurons involve both beta2- and alpha7-containing nAChRs, activation of calcineurin, and decreased intracellular calcium via L-type channels.
 

bobby

Well-Known Member
I have never smoked, but I have heard of PWME using nicotine patches for symptom relief. I can see how that would work, slightly similar to caffeine maybe?

It's only the smoking part that is so harmful. Nicotine has a bad rap because of that, but I think it could possibly be useful if administered the right way.

some examples:
In Parkinson’s sufferers, the neurons responsible for releasing dopamine (which you can think of as the brain’s “pleasure” chemical, but it does other stuff too) begin to deteriorate, and a drug called levodopa is used as treatment because it’s a precursor to dopamine. Nicotine also increases dopamine, however, and as well as reducing symptoms in Parkinson’s patients and slowing the progression of the disease, it can even decrease one of the more serious side effects of levodopa itself.
Schizophrenia is another key condition to consider, because about 90 percent of people with schizophrenia smoke. There is debate about the reasons for this, but the idea that they are self-medicating with nicotine is a well-supported one. Smoking reduces the negative symptoms of schizophrenia – such as apathy and lack of motivation, which may be related to deficits in the dopamine system – and could counteract some of the cognitive symptoms of the condition too.
 

weyland

Well-Known Member
I have never smoked, but I have heard of PWME using nicotine patches for symptom relief. I can see how that would work, slightly similar to caffeine maybe?
It might help with our deficient cholinergic pathways.

It's only the smoking part that is so harmful. Nicotine has a bad rap because of that, but I think it could possibly be useful if administered the right way.
Nicotine is not totally harmless though, chronic use causes immunosuppresive effects.
 

bobby

Well-Known Member
Nicotine is not totally harmless though, chronic use causes immunosuppresive effects.
is that true for everyone? like how they used the think caffeine was bad for everyone, until they discovered that different genetic patterns made all the difference.

btw I don't think anything is completely harmless, if used in excess. I didn't know about the immunosuppressive effects, that is interesting.
 

weyland

Well-Known Member
is that true for everyone? like how they used the think caffeine was bad for everyone, until they discovered that different genetic patterns made all the difference.
Not sure. The reason why it's immunosuppresive is because nicotine activates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and immune cells express these receptors. Activating these receptors on immune cells seems to downregulate their inflammatory abilities, causes a th2 shift, etc.
 

Tina

Well-Known Member
NONE OF THESE ARTICLES ADVOCATE SMOKING. THEY ALL CLEARLY STATE THAT THE RISKS FAR OUT WEIGH ANY BENEFITS; THEY ARE SIMPLY LOOKING AT THE WHY TO SEE IF TREATMENTS OR PREVENTITIVE ACTIONS CAN BE DEVELOPED. OR EVEN BIOMARKERS.

Here is an article out of Australia that lists multiple illness that might be helped by smoking nicotine.
http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/3-28-health-benefits-of-smoking-

I came across the following articles when trying to find a link between why my body has always tended to heal slowly and/or not in the way doctors expected and the fact that I developed severe pre-eclampsia with my first live birth, which was a full 6 to 7 years before the CFS diagnosis. I was told in my 37th week of pregnancy that I had developed pre-eclampsia (since the week before), a few hours later I was hospitalized and it developed into severe pre-eclampsia and three days later I had acute kidney failure. I was athletic, had low blood pressure and never smoked.

I came across several articles that stated somehow smoking may prevent pre-eclampsia.

One article states:
Smoking may exert this effect by reducing levels of the anti-angiogenic protein sFlt-1.
http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2393-11-91

Another:
Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), as the most abundant expression protein in the placenta, was widely studied in the human reproduction. We propose that cigarette smoke decreases the risk of developing preeclampsia via direct activation of AhR system in placenta
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987711003914

And finally:
It is now believed that the clinical phenotype of preeclampsia may be mediated by a circulating anti-angiogenic state largely due to placental overproduction of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1 or sVEGFR1), an endogenous vascular endothelial growth factor signaling inhibitor, and soluble endoglin (sEng), a transforming growth factor beta signaling inhibitor 4.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855389/
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Nicotine is a wonder drug. It helps with metabolism and has shown to be neuroprotective. Now we just have to find a delivery model that doesn't include smoking.

This article shows how nicotine inhibits calcium channels which protects against glutamate induced neurotoxicity.

Calcium channels again.

I'm curious how many of us are current or former smokers?
Whoa - calcium channels - Lyrica binds to calcium channels - so does it's upgrade under testing - Mirogabalin....

That's fascinating...no wonder people like smoking :)...It is a calming agent I believe - which I thankfully, stayed away from from the beginning.

(I took one puff about 20 years and instantly understood why people like it...:wideyed:..

Did you know that in 1952 the average consumption of cigarettes by males was 10 cigarettes a day? (It was 20 in Scotland.)

When the Brits, alarmed by the huge increase in lung cancer deaths after WWI convened their top medical personnel to try and figure out what was causing it - not one of them suggested cigarettes...they suggested everything but cigarettes...

Talk about a blind spot! They were all smokers.....

Does nicotine contain the addictive agent?
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
NONE OF THESE ARTICLES ADVOCATE SMOKING. THEY ALL CLEARLY STATE THAT THE RISKS FAR OUT WEIGH ANY BENEFITS; THEY ARE SIMPLY LOOKING AT THE WHY TO SEE IF TREATMENTS OR PREVENTITIVE ACTIONS CAN BE DEVELOPED. OR EVEN BIOMARKERS.

Here is an article out of Australia that lists multiple illness that might be helped by smoking nicotine.
http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/3-28-health-benefits-of-smoking-

I came across the following articles when trying to find a link between why my body has always tended to heal slowly and/or not in the way doctors expected and the fact that I developed severe pre-eclampsia with my first live birth, which was a full 6 to 7 years before the CFS diagnosis. I was told in my 37th week of pregnancy that I had developed pre-eclampsia (since the week before), a few hours later I was hospitalized and it developed into severe pre-eclampsia and three days later I had acute kidney failure. I was athletic, had low blood pressure and never smoked.

I came across several articles that stated somehow smoking may prevent pre-eclampsia.

One article states:
http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2393-11-91

Another:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987711003914

And finally:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855389/
It's a strange thing; a substance can have negative and positive effects depending on how it's taken and how much. Botulinum toxin is now used to prevent wrinkles and there is that famous agent that caused horrid birth defects that is now used to treat some cancers I believe...
 

Remy

Administrator
Does nicotine contain the addictive agent?
Yes, nicotine is addictive though potentially less so alone than in cigarettes. Besides the act of smoking is addicting and rewarding in and of itself.

But many of the drugs we use cause tolerance and dependence and I don't necessarily see that as a cause for concern for nicotine any more than with benzos, antidepressants or opioids.

The important thing is to separate nicotine's positive effects from the negative effects of smoking. I'm actually surprised that there aren't more studies around trying to repurpose nicotine now that smoking is so out of favor.
 

Remy

Administrator
This is a pretty good article discussing how nicotine suppresses both the immune and inflammatory response.

Interestingly, smokers have a lower incidence of some diseases, including ulcerative colitis, sarcoidosis, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, farmers' lung, pigeon breeders' disease, Parkinson's disease, and Sjögren's syndrome (38). Many of these diseases are inflammatory in nature or have an inflammatory component.

In animal studies, NT, a major constituent of cigarette smoke, suppresses the immune system when provided by subcutaneously implanted miniosmotic pumps (38). NT may help in human cutaneous inflammation (19) and ulcerative colitis (13, 30, 39). Transdermal NTPs have been used in humans primarily to aid in smoking cessation (6, 14, 23, 24, 29); however, the efficacy of the NTP to modulate immune and inflammatory responses has not been ascertained in animal models.

Results presented herein show that a section (one-quarter to one-eighth) of a 7-mg NTP applied to the back of an adult rat raises the levels of NT and cotinine in serum to levels comparable to those of a two- to four-pack/day human smoker.

NTP treatment modulated various parameters of the immune response. Thus, animals treated with one-eighth or one-fourth of an NTP exhibited a significant drop in the anti-SRBC AFC and ConA-induced proliferative responses, indicating that NTP suppresses both the humoral and cell-mediated immunities.

It is possible that the decreased T-cell responses in NTP-treated splenocytes reflected NTP-induced changes in the composition of lymphocyte populations (e.g., decreased T-cell numbers or altered subset distribution). However, flow cytometric analysis of splenocytes did not show significant differences in lymphocyte numbers or subset distribution in CON and NTP-treated animals.
Nicotine also decreases TNF-a and IL-1b.

So potentially nicotine is a better fit for those with demonstrated overactive immune system to help reduce out of control T cell proliferation.
 

Katherine Autry

Active Member
Yes, nicotine is addictive though potentially less so alone than in cigarettes. Besides the act of smoking is addicting and rewarding in and of itself.

But many of the drugs we use cause tolerance and dependence and I don't necessarily see that as a cause for concern for nicotine any more than with benzos, antidepressants or opioids.

The important thing is to separate nicotine's positive effects from the negative effects of smoking. I'm actually surprised that there aren't more studies around trying to repurpose nicotine now that smoking is so out of favor.
Well we are now repurposing marijuana, certainly nicotine could be next. It's about time. To every thing there is a purpose.
 

Remy

Administrator
Great article...basically confirms what we already knew..that nicotine itself is basically benign when you remove it from smoking as a delivery mechanism.

Given how hard it is to boost dopamine in general and how many of us might like a mild stimulant at times, I really think a lot of people are throwing the baby out with the bathwater with nicotine gum/lozenges.

"If the gum were something we knew to be harmful, I'd get upset about its chronic use, and insist that they get off it," adds Hughes. "But it doesn't seem to be harmful."
Full text here.
 

Abrin

Well-Known Member
I vape specifically to help with my fatigue symptoms and have done so for years.

I am not a daily smoker and I keep nicotine use for when I need to pull out the 'big guns' (when I have a commitment that will take up a lot of energy and I just don't have that energy. )

I can't speak for others but it works for me. :)
 

Abrin

Well-Known Member
But many of the drugs we use cause tolerance and dependence and I don't necessarily see that as a cause for concern for nicotine any more than with benzos, antidepressants or opioids.
I agree.

This is just my own personal opinion but I find that some people seem to have a more 'addictive' personality then others.

My mother was addicted to smoking for many years before she quit and my brother is currently addicted to smoking now and has been addicted for many years.

I've never had a problem with picking cigarettes up and putting them down again since I encountered my first cigarette in my pre-teens. I don't feel a craving for them at all.
 

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
Gosh, I hate people like you. :) I would smoke from every available orifice if possible..
In 98, very sick, I would stare at the clock on my VCR and when it hit the hour mark I'd light up! Even now, 10 years plus since my last cigarette I still crave them. The only thing stopping me now is too many lung issues. I'm with you @Remy
 

Remy

Administrator
Another great article on nicotine.

This notorious stimulant may enhance learning and help treat Parkinson's, schizophrenia and other neurological diseases.


Every drug of addiction must have its day. Morphine remains one of the most potent painkillers ever discovered. Cocaine’s chemical cousin lidocaine is still used by physicians and dentists as an effective local anesthetic. Even demon alcohol, when taken in moderation, cuts the risk of heart attacks, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and a hodgepodge of other ailments.

Now comes nicotine, perhaps the most unlikely wonder drug ever to be reviled.

If dozens of human and animal studies published over the past six years are borne out by large clinical trials, nicotine — freed at last of its noxious host, tobacco, and delivered instead by chewing gum or transdermal patch — may prove to be a weirdly, improbably effective drug for relieving or preventing a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Tourette’s and schizophrenia. It might even improve attention and focus enough to qualify as a cognitive enhancer. And, oh yeah, it’s long been associated with weight loss, with few known safety risks. (Although, in truth, few safety studies of the increasingly popular e-cigarettes have yet been published.)

Nicotine? Yes, nicotine.

In fact, the one purpose for which nicotine has proven futile is the very same one for which it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration, sold by pharmacies over the counter, bought by consumers and covered by many state Medicaid programs: quitting smoking. In January 2012, a six-year follow-up study of 787 adults who had recently quit smoking found that those who used nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a patch, gum, inhaler or nasal spray had the same long-term relapse rate as those who did not use the products. Heavy smokers who tried to quit without the benefit of counseling were actually twice as likely to relapse if they used a nicotine replacement product.
And therein lies the conundrum that physicians and regulators will have to wrestle with if the promising studies about nicotine’s benefits hold up: how to endorse a drug linked to one of the greatest public health scourges the world has ever known.
 

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