Collection of Directions in Science Articles from TheScientificWorldJOURNALView this Special Issue
Nicotinic Receptor Activity Alters Synaptic Plasticity
Studies using specific agonists, antagonists, and lesions have shown that nicotinic cholinergic systems participate in attention, learning, and memory[1,2]. The nicotinic manipulations usually have the greatest influence on difficult tasks or on cognitively impaired subjects. For example, Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a loss of cholinergic projections and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the cortex and hippocampus. Nicotine skin patches can improve learning rates and attention in Alzheimer's patients.