11 Nov Could Nicotine Help With Late Life Depression?
Depression is a common problem in today’s society, and increasing numbers of people of all ages are either receiving treatment for the condition or are suffering in silence. While many younger people are sufferers, there are many more who develop the condition much later in their life, after the age of 60. This is known as LLD or “late life depression” and it is a problem that is on the rise.
Recently a study was carried out by researchers at the Vanderbilt University in Tennessee which highlighted the potential of nicotine as a mood enhancer for those who are suffering from this type of depression. Although the traditional treatment prescribed by doctors is antidepressants, for many people they prove to be ineffective or have unpleasant and unwanted side effects. Now, it has been suggested that nicotine could be a suitable alternative.
Nicotine For Cognitive Performance
The benefits of nicotine for cognitive performance are already well known, and previous studies have highlighted its advantages for this purpose, however this new research has suggested that nAChR (or nicotinic acetylcholine receptor) agonists may well be beneficial for those who find no relief when taking the standard medicinal treatment.
Based on the evidence collected from this new study, there have now been suggestions that people who are still experiencing depression even after taking regular antidepressant medications could be involved with future clinical trials into the use of nicotine. The trials would uses patches to deliver nicotine to the patients involved, in the same way as nicotine patches can be used by those who are trying to quit smoking. Although it is not known yet whether nicotine patches would be effective in treating the condition, experts are hopeful that they would have a positive effect on the patients’ mental state, especially when taking into account tests which have already been carried out on patients with ADHD who were shown to have better performance when using nicotine patches.
Nicotine As A Positive, Not A Negative
Although nicotine is often viewed in a negative light by the general public, in fact it has a number of well known and well documented benefits which may come as a surprise to its opponents.
Nicotine has been associated with improvements in a number of health conditions including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Tourette’s Syndrome and Schizophrenia, so it is unsurprising that it could have further medical uses to help those for whom traditional medication is not effective.
The Safest Nicotine Delivery Methods
One of the main reasons why nicotine has such a negative reputation is probably because it is associated with the health risks linked to smoking tobacco. However, there are many other ways of delivering a dose of nicotine to patients. Apart from nicotine patches and chewing gums, there is also the possibility of vaping. While there are still many people who are against the idea of vaping, it stands to reason that if taking nicotine in this way could help those who are already suffering, it must be a good thing. Nicotine-containing e-liquids are easy to obtain and are a simple way of delivering a daily dosage which could massively improve the lives of those who are finding daily life challenging due to depression.