The posts on nicotine have caught my interest. It seems that all promising future treatments for PD remain in the future, we have to find ways to self treat. Nicotine patch's or gum can be bought online and since it is a well known "drug" there is not a lot of risk to experiment. Below is a report, from France?, on what's new with the patch.
On the basis of clinical observation of single cases treated by transdermal nicotine, it appears that clinical response may vary to a major extent between individuals. This variability may be explained by different phenotypes in the clinical spectrum of PD. As growing evidence support the genetic susceptibility of most patients to PD, genetic differences on the disease itself or the pharmacological response of individuals to drugs can explain these major differences of clinical response between individuals.
The therapeutic role of nicotine may result from metabolic or receptor-mediated effects (vide supra
). It is therefore probable that other nicotinic agonists, acting on one single receptor category or with one mechanism of action, will cross the gap between experimental research and clinical trials. One example is the recent study of two targeted nicotinic acetylcholine receptors agonists varenicline and A85380, which resulted in a significant decline in levodopa-induced abnormal involuntary movements at a relatively low dose of the agonist, with no worsening of Parkinsonism. Finally, other tobacco smoke compounds may account, at least in part, for the neuroprotective effect.