Paul Newhouse, MD, Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine, Nashville, TN, provides an overview of the role of nicotinic cholinergic systems in cognitive function in relation to the ongoing MIND study (NCT02720445). Nicotinic receptors predominantly act in the CNS as positive auto-regulatory receptors, enhancing the release of several neurotransmitters. Therefore, they have a regulatory effect on the neurotransmission of various systems. It is thought that these receptors are involved in the maintenance of attention and memory and thus, stimulation of nicotinic receptors may improve the mechanisms that are affected in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although nicotinic receptor desensitization has been observed in vitro, studies in vivo have shown no evidence of desensitization, with an improvement in cognitive function peaking at 6 months. Therefore, nicotinic stimulation provides an exciting opportunity to alter neurotransmitter-based cognitive mechanisms in patients with AD and can be used in conjunction with other established treatments to improve brain function. This interview took place at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease Congress 2022 in San Francisco.
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Prof. Newhouse reports the following disclosures: I am a consultant to PMI Inc.