Thursday, December 07, 2006

Is Nicotine Patch to Faulty Memory?

news you may not know

Have You Noticed

Any Keys?

You threw out your last pack of smokes five years ago. Then, tired of bumming cigarettes off strangers, you actually quit smoking a mere 17 months later. Ah, freedom! The money spent on cigarettes now supports a healthy lifestyle, including a membership at the new gym across town. But... your days at the gym have become less frequent, you're layering new love handles on top of old and, with the pizza joint just a couple blocks away...

Have you lost your resolve? Been pushed over the edge by the deep dish pepperoni ? Not at all.

You just can't find your car keys...

You tear the house apart in a frantic search. Not that you'd ever let pride get in the way, but you decide you'd rather starve to death at home, clad in a fashionable, though manly, set of workout togs, than break down and ask your wife where the keys are. You just couldn't take it - the sly smile, the beeline to the refrigerator, the quick delve into the crisper and, "Here you go, hon. You dropped them in here last Tuesday." The woman has no pity.

You reach under the bed and, "What's this?" Hmm... A shriveled up old nicotine patch beckons you, recalling days of nicotine filled delight. Already shaken, you give in to temptation, slap the patch on your arm and slump down in despair. Then...

You jump to your feet, rush into the bathroom and throw open the medicine cabinet. "Aha!" There sit your keys, safely tucked behind your all-too-frequent-friend, the Pepto bottle. Somehow, it all makes sense.

So, is the nicotine patch the key to memory deficits? Possibly. In an odd twist, scientists are studying the impact of nicotine on memory in patients with mild cognitive impairment. The interest revolves around the function of what are known as nicotinic receptors. These receptors are located on the surface of neuron cells in the brain, and appear to be significant actors in regulating not only learning and memory, but also anxiety and motor performance.

The research utilizes the same nicotine patches people use to help stop smoking.

All right. You have your plan in place. You feel good about the future. No more embarrassing memory lapses. There's just one small problem: you just can't bring yourself to ask your wife where you put the box of nicotine patches...

To read more about the study, see


Post a Comment

<< Home