A Health Benefit of Cigarettes: They Fight Parkinson's Disease

The Atlantic Wire's Rebecca Greenfield reports that smoking might actually have at least one health benefit:

Smoking kills, but maybe it heals, too. Nicotine, that addictive drug in cigarettes, protects from Parkinson's disease, found a study in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Okay, so smoking, per-se doesn't provide any health benefits, but if you feel guilty about your smoking habit (or even if you don't), you can tell yourself you're not ruining every part of your body as you inhale--your brain appreciates it!

Using mice as test subjects, researchers found that nicotine had the potential to rescue dopamine neurons in cultures. Slowly losing these neurons is a hallmark of Parkinson's, so scientists believe this shows that nicotine can be used to treat Parkinsons by targeting the brain's nicotine receptors. Smokers: at least you have that going for you.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Health

Just In