IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/e367

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Review

The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: smoking and alzheimer’s disease revisited

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1 Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, AZ
2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates 3. Arizona Neurological Institute, Sun City, AZ
Academic Editor:Christian Saleh
Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(1), 169–180; https://doi.org/10.2741/e367
Published: 1 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The polyhedral aspects of dementia)
Abstract

Epidemiological studies regarding Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in smokers currently suggest inconsistent results. The clinicopathological findings also vary as to how AD pathology is affected by smoking behavior. Even though clinicopathological, functional, and epidemiological studies in humans do not present a consistent picture, much of the in vitro data implies that nicotine has neuroprotective effects when used in neurodegenerative disorder models. Current studies of the effects of nicotine and nicotinic agonists on cognitive function in both the non-demented and those with AD are not convincing. More data is needed to determine whether repetitive activation of nAChR with intermittent or acute exposure to nicotine, acute activation of nAChR, or long-lasting inactivation of nAChR secondary to chronic nicotine exposure will have a therapeutic effect and/or explain the beneficial effects of those types of drugs. Other studies show multifaceted connections between nicotine, nicotinic agonists, smoking, and nAChRs implicated in AD etiology. Although many controversies still exist, ongoing studies are revealing how nicotinic receptor changes and functions may be significant to the neurochemical, pathological, and clinical changes that appear in AD.

Keywords
nicotine
nicotinic receptors
Alzheimer’s disease
smoking
Apo E4
neuroprotection
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