Rook helpt tegen Parkinson en Alzheimer

Onderzoek door Professor Jeffrey Vance, van de Duke University in North Carolina, heeft duidelijker gemaakt hoe roken het ontstaan van Parkinson en Alzheimer kan remmen of zelfs voorkomen.

Er is blijkbaar een gen aanwezig in iedere cel van ons lichaam dat een giftige stof aanmaakt die op de lange duur de hersencellen aantast. Componenten uit de rook (NIET de nicotine!) van sigaretten remmen de activiteit van dit gen waardoor deze giftige stoffen, en dus deze twee hersenziektes, niet zo makkelijk ontstaan.

De medicus is geschokt: “It really is ironic that something good might ultimately come out of smoking“.

Maar dat wisten wij al langer…

The medical world recently discovered that cigarette smoke decreases the risk of getting the degenerative neurological condition – but the genes responsible were a mystery.

US geneticist Professor Jeffrey Vance, from Duke University in North Carolina, has told the International Congress of Human Genetics in Brisbane he has found a gene that helps explain the link.

The gene – known as NOS2A – is found in every cell of the body and is responsible for the production of nitric oxide.

If too much is produced brain cells can die, leading to neuro-degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Prof Vance and his team realised that while everyone has this gene, in smokers it appeared to be “turned down”, limiting cell death and ultimately disease.

“We think that something in smoke keeps the level of the NOS2A down so cells don’t produce nitric oxide, which decreases cell damage,” he told AAP.

The researcher was not sure why this was but said the team would look closer at this area of DNA to try to better understand the link.

“It really is ironic that something good might ultimately come out of smoking,” Prof Vance said.

“It is definitely a window of opportunity that we are working on.”

But the main focus on his project was on further understanding Parkinson’s disease, which affects about 40,000 Australians, most aged over 60.

The cause is unknown and while there are treatments available including surgery and medication to replace the missing chemical dopamine, these have a limited effect.

“The other problem is that these things are not curing anything, only treating the symptoms while the process is still going on,” Prof Vance said.

The Age (Australië)

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  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH