Nicotine patches as treatment

Posted previously by aftermathman:

I post regularly on Braintalk2 however this is the first thread which I wish to share with Parkinson's UK and get their position.

The following post comes from a Parky in Paris:

"Dear comrades

I want to share with you the meeting i had with you with Dr Gabriel Villafane 3 weeks ago.
Dr Villafane is a brilliant and passionate scientist
,he is in charge of the Neurology department at Hopital Lionel Vidart in Creteil (France )
they have develloped since 9 years a protocol treatment for Parkinson using Nicotine patches.
They are getting very amazing results .
There,they told me,straight in the eyes,that the MINIMUM BENEFITS YOU CAN EXPECT IS TO STOP THE PROGRESSION OF PD !!
but this is the minimum,as for many patient,pd is stopped and the symptoms are very softened and even for some cases the symptoms ARE 90% REVERSED !!(it shows inversion of the disease on the DAT-SCAN)
my jaw dropped when i heard this .
this was the first time during my 7 years journey with PD ,that an "official" neurologist was not telling me PD as irreversible and degenerative .
I was really & happilly shocked

to enter the protocol,you must be on levadopa drugs .
I am on sinemet 100/10 .I take 1 pill 3 times/day presently.
you must NOT TAKE THIAMIN (vitamin B1 ) supplement ,as it would interfere with the nicotine.eating red meat is also a big No-no .
the patches have to taken everyday & for the rest of your life. (so this is not a cure but a treatment)
it takes about 9 months ti get some visible improvments,for some people less than 9 months

Here is the protocol they gave.
to respect the timing and graduality is crucial
you must patch yourself on a different part every 24 h
those parts are :under your belly button ,on the right,then the following day left,then the following day in the end of your back on the right,then the following day on left
you must change your nicotine patch every 24 h
Nicopatch was the brand recommended,but just because of the dosage

first 3 months : 3,5 mg nicotine patch per day (so you cut a 7 mg patch in half )
month 3 to 5: 7mg "" "" "
month 5 to 7 :10 mg " " "
then 14 mg for 6 months
then 17 mg for next 3 months
then 20 mg " "

I know Nicotine has a bad health image because of the cigarettes but it has medical properties.

If you decide to consult Dr Villafane,there's 4 months waiting list,& you must come to your consultation with
-recent electro cardiogram
-recent blood analysis

without these,you would have to come back & wait another 4 months
I personally have started the Nico since 2 weeks,and yes i am feeling better : )"

The parky is genuine, French so some gramatic errors, not a salesman or "hype artist". There follows a very interesting discussion from others who have tried Nicotine patches.

I am intrigued to know where PDS UK stand with regards Nicotine patches as potential treatment.

a link to the thread referred to on another posting, it also contains more details from a French PD organisation
Can we obtain a comment from Kieran Breen?
Hi Bogman,
While I can't promise a comment from Kieran, I have passed the message on to the Research team. I'll let you know when they get back to me.

In the meantime, you can take a look at the following research project which is looking at the potential of nicotine to treat Parkinson's:

I just remembered when talking to my PD nurse last year, I asked him about otehr treatments for PD and he mentioned nicotine. So I guess the awareness of it's use as a therapy is in the medical establishment to a certain degree.

Hello all

This is a really intriguing area of research.

These early studies using nicotine patches are showing some encouraging results. But we need much larger and longer studies before we know for sure whether nicotine patches are safe and effective for people with Parkinson's to use as a long term treatment.

Until then, people should not start using nicotine patches without the explicit recommendation of their doctor.

Studies have shown that smoking slightly lowers risk of Parkinson's - but it doesn't prevent it absolutely. This suggests that the effects of nicotine may be quite subtle.

The research we're funding at the University of Oxford (which Ezinda highlighted) is investigating the potential of nicotine to treat Parkinson's. The hope is that we can develop treatments that can harness and boost the beneficial effects of nicotine. Such treatments would help reduce distressing side effects such as impulsive and compulsive behaviours, and may even slow the development of the condition.

Hope this helps to answer your questions.

Best wishes

Senior Research Communications Officer
Thank you, I really appreciate this reply.