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

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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.

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