Can nicotine stop some Parkinson’s symptoms?

We’re investigating how the protective effects of nicotine can be used to prevent or reverse memory loss and movement issues in Parkinson's.

What is Parkinson's? 

Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition which affects over 145,000 people in the UK. It causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. Parkinson's has over 40 possible symptoms including issues with memory and movement. 

What causes the memory and movement issues? 

By the time someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a significant amount of their neurotransmitters are already lost. Neurotransmitters are the body’s chemical messengers. They play an essential communication role and their loss leads to problems such as memory loss and muscle spasms or stiffness.

How can nicotine help? 

Nicotine has been shown to mimic the role of acetylcholine. It bridges the gap so that information from nerve cells can travel. 

However, nicotine has many major health risks. So, we want to develop a safe alternative. 

Using previous research, Dr Shoaib and Dr Iravani have worked together to design new compounds which mimic the role of nicotine. This will be targeted specifically at people with Parkinson's. They now need your support to test out which compounds will have a powerful impact on restoring memory loss and muscle function safely.

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Will you help discover a safe new treatment for people with Parkinson’s?

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What effect would this have for people with Parkinson's? 

Whilst we continue to explore every avenue in our search for a cure, people with Parkinson's are struggling with debilitating symptoms and getting worse. We need to make life better for people with Parkinson's today. 

This treatment could have a massive impact on the quality of life for people with Parkinson's, with your help. Donate now and help stop memory loss and muscle problems in Parkinson's. 

    What the researchers say

    "This research project uniquely addresses two seemingly unrelated symptoms - memory and movement problems. I believe this treatment will one day significantly improve people's quality of life."
    Dr Iravani


    Want to find out more?

    • Read this blog by the research team about nicotine and the current research
    • Explore the link between Parkinson’s UK and nicotine in this news article  
    • Interested in other vices that could have an effect on Parkinson’s? Read this blog by Dr Beckie Port