Nicotine Patch May Help Improve Memory, Study Finds

January 11, 2012


Nicotine may help tune up the brains of seniors suffering from mild memory loss, a new study shows. Researchers found that seniors suffering from mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, could boost their memories with a nicotine patch, according to the study published in Neurology. The patches also led to improvements in attention and mental processing. But these effects weren’t as strong as the impact on memory, said study authors. Frank Leone, MD, director of the Penn Medicine Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Program, was surprised to see that the low doses of nicotine in patches were enough to tune up people’s brains, but said that it does make sense that nicotine might help. "Nicotine is a mild stimulant and presumably any stimulant has the ability to activate a person’s brain and to potentially improve cognition,” said Leone in an interview with He went on to say that the new research is limited and needs to be replicated in larger studies before doctors should start prescribing patches to alleviate MCI... Read More