Cotinine vermindert hersenaandoeningen

Als men wil meten hoeveel omstanders aan sigarettenrook hebben binnengekregen wordt het cotinineniveau in die personen gemeten. Volgens vele onderzoekers in de anti-tabakswereld geeft de concentratie van dit afvalproduct van nicotine in niet-rokers redelijk nauwkeurig de blootstelling aan tabaksrook aan.

Maar niet-rokers mogen blij zijn dat ze deze cotinine van rokers binnenkrijgen zou je zeggen na de resultaten van dit onderzoek te hebben gelezen: cotinine, net als nicotine, blijkt heel goed te zijn tegen geheugenproblemen, Parkinson’s en Alzheimer. Bovendien lijkt het ook schizofrenie symptomen te kunnen verminderen.

Tobacco chemical ‘halts brain diseases’

A tobacco chemical could provide new treatments for memory loss and brain diseases, according to new research.

The substance, cotinine, is obtained when the body breaks down nicotine.

But unlike nicotine, which has also been shown to protect brain cells, it is not addictive.

Nor does it cause other side effects of nicotine, such as constricted blood vessels, stomach cramps and nausea.

A team of US scientists led by Dr Jerry Buccafusco found that cotinine showed potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as symptoms of schizophrenia.

Dr Buccafusco, who presented the findings at the annual meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in New Orleans, said: “Many people have thought the drug was an essentially inactive metabolite, but we have shown that at appropriate doses, it is memory enhancing, neuro-protective and it has antipsychotic activities.

“We hope this new appreciation for cotinine’s potential will encourage people to take a look at cotinine and, if not the drug itself, maybe design newer compounds based on cotinine’s structure that have fewer side effects than existing therapies.”

“In the case of Alzheimer’s, cotinine may share nicotine’s ability to improve attention and memory and at the same time reduce or halt disease progression. One advantage of cotinine is that it could be used long-term with little concern about serious side effects and substance abuse.”

Up to now, cotinine’s main use has been as a marker for smoking. Testing a smoker’s urine for cotinine can provide a measure of tobacco consumption.

Dr Buccafusco tested cotinine’s effect on the memory of monkeys playing a computer game.

Bron: Ananova

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