Roken remt significant zenuwcelafbraak

Diverse onderzoeken hebben inmiddels aangetoond dat rokers minder last hebben van ziektes als Parkinson en Alzheimer.


Een aantal zenuwspecialisten van de University of South Florida College of Medicine hebben nu nieuw bewijsmateriaal gepubliceerd voor het mechanisme dat dit effect teweeg brengt.


In laboratory experiments, the researchers demonstrated that nicotine inhibits activation of brain immune cells known as microglia.

Chronic microglial activation is a sign of brain inflammation that is a key step in nerve cell death. The researchers also identified the specific site, the alpha-7 acetylcholine receptor subtype, to which nicotine binds to block microglial activation.

‘We propose that nicotine’s ability to prevent overactivation of microglia may be additional mechanism underlying nicotine’s neuroprotective properties in the brain,’ said USF neuroscientist R. Douglas Shytle, PhD, lead author of the study.

‘This finding lets us explore a new way of looking at neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s,’ said Jun Tan, PhD, MD, principal investigator for the study. ‘A better understanding of the therapeutic aspects of nicotine may also help us develop drugs that mimic the beneficial action of nicotine without its unwanted side effects.’

Nicotine mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that is critical to communication between brain cells. Acetylcholine is the major neurotransmitter lost in Alzheimer’s disease.


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    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

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    Anonieme arts

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    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

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    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland


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