(Los Angeles, CA, Wednesday, January 16, 2019) – Memory loss is not a normal part of aging. Mild memory loss or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is most common in seniors and is a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. There is no FDA-approved medication specifically indicated to treat mild memory loss or MCI.

A new study is using nicotine to treat mild memory loss. The MIND Study is the longest and largest running study of its kind testing whether the nicotine patch can improve memory and functioning in people who have mild memory loss or MCI. Nicotine is natural and safe when used as directed.

Because nicotine is present in tobacco products, people often think it is addictive and harmful, but it isn’t when used as a transdermal patch. In fact, it is so safe that the FDA allows nicotine in patch form to be made available over the counter. Nicotine is a natural substance, which may have medicinal benefits; it is predominately found in tobacco plants, but also in tomatoes, eggplant and cauliflower.

The MIND Study is looking for 300 non-smoking adults over the age of 55 who are in the earliest stages of memory loss to participate in the MIND Study. You may be eligible to participate if you have been diagnosed with MCI or if you or your family members notice changes in your memory.

The MIND Study has 29 sites across the country where people can volunteer.

Nicotine stimulates certain cells in the brain that can enhance brain function, and MIND researchers are using that benefit to test whether they can improve or alleviate symptoms of memory loss in people who have MCI. It could have could have significant benefits when it comes to treating MCI, because it is an inexpensive, readily available treatment.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 15 to 20 percent of people age 65 or older have MCI and are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Researchers have been using nicotine in studies for more than 30 years, but this is by far the largest and longest running study of its kind testing whether nicotine is effective for non-smokers with mild memory loss.

The MIND Study is funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and led by Vanderbilt University and the University of Southern California’s Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute.

If you are a healthy, non-smoking adult age 55 and over, please visit MINDStudy.org or call 866-MIND-150 to learn more.

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