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Study claims nicotine improves cognitive performance

Study claims nicotine improves cognitive performance
11th January 2012

Nicotine improves cognitive performance in former smokers, according to a recent study.

Researchers investigated the effects of nicotine on people with mild cognitive impairment and found that nicotine helped stave off dementia.

A spokesperson from the Alzheimer's Society commented: "While the findings indicate some limited improvements in memory, attention and mental processing, further studies are needed to establish whether the findings are clinically important."

Previously, several small studies showed that nicotine improved the attention and memory of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers found that four weeks of nicotine treatment halved decision times on a standardised test of memory and increased participants' ability to focus their attention.

However, the Alzheimer's Society are keen to stress that people should not consider self-medicating with cigarettes or nicotine patches if they are worried about cognitive decline.

The health risks of smoking are said to massively outweigh any potential benefits of nicotine.

According to the Alzheimer's society, the best way to protect against dementia is to get regular exercise, eat healthy, stop smoking and limit alcohol intake.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.