Nicotine patches may help repair mental impairment


January 12, 2012 4:49:35 AM PST
While nicotine patches might not really help people quit smoking, they may have a surprising benefit in treating people with mental impairment.

A report released on Tuesday in the medical journal Neurology finds the patches may help to improve mild memory loss in older adults.

Scientists studied non- smokers who had mild cognitive impairment a stage between normal aging and dementia marked by mild memory and thinking problems.

Those who received a nicotine patch regained 46 percent of normal performance in long term memory. The group that did not get nicotine worsened by 26 percent over the same period.