Non-smoking adults, ages 55+, who either notice changes in their memory or whose family members notice memory changes may be eligible to participate. Participants are required to have a study partner who will accompany them to each appointment. This partner may be a family member, close friend, or caregiver. This person must be someone that knows the participant well and spends a minimum of 10 hours a week with them. This is necessary in order for the partner to give the research staff feedback on the participant’s memory, health, & functioning throughout the study.
About the Study:
Our brains have billions of nerve cells that communicate with each other using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Previous studies show that nicotine can act similarly to acetylcholine, a normal chemical signal in the brain that is important for thinking and memory. Some scientists believe that using nicotine will help individuals with thinking and memory impairment.
In our earlier similar study, 74 adults diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) were prescribed either nicotine patches or placebo patches for 6 months. Those using actual nicotine patches showed more improvement in attention and memory than those using the placebo patches.
These results were encouraging and justify this larger study we have named the MIND Study.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether daily transdermal nicotine (in patch form) will have a positive effect on early memory impairment in participants diagnosed with MCI.
What is Involved:
Healthy, non-smoking adults, age 55+, will have extensive memory & cognitive testing as part of the screening process. While participants don’t have to be already diagnosed with MCI, there must be memory concerns which are noticed by another person. Those who meet the study qualifications will be placed on either daily nicotine or placebo (inactive ingredient) patches. Some study sites will conduct an MRI (brain scan) in addition to the regular study procedures.