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. Glycation of the amyloid beta-protein by a nicotine metabolite: a fortuitous chemical dynamic between smoking and Alzheimer's disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Jul 8;100(14):8182-7. PubMed.

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  1. I find these results interesting. Since I'm not an expert in Ab aggregation, I cannot comment on the experimental results, other than to say that they are very preliminary. Unfortunately, the epidemiology on smoking and AD is not uniformly in favor of it being protective, and there are many dissenting studies. In several studies, smoking increases the risk of AD (or of vascular dementia, or both).

    The AD field is collecting a mounting number of negative clinical trials which were designed to test risk factors (or protective factors) noted in observational studies. NSAIDs and estrogen are two key examples. Before attempting to try nornicotine in human studies, it would be interesting to see whether the antiaggregation effect in vitro corresponds to lowering of amyloid levels and burden in transgenic mice when the compound is given chronically.