Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, a non-profitable medical organization has conducted a research on treating the old age depression (age above 60 years) showed a promising result. However, Warren Taylor and James G. Blakemore, the authors of the study mentioned that, the study needs further research to validate the result.
Late life depression is a kind of depression, which generally occurs in old age of above 60. When late life depression is treated with Nicotine patch, it showed positive results in reducing the stress. In common, half of the anti-depression medication used to treat the late life depression often fails to cure the depression or the lifestyle, while the new approach seems better.
“We know when we treat depression that our medications can be very helpful, but clearly they don’t always work as well as we want — there are people who don’t respond well or don’t respond completely to their current medication, so there’s a need for new effective treatments that work through new and different mechanisms,” mentioned by Warren Taylor, MD, MHSc, and James G. Blakemore, the authors of the research article.
Though, there is no literature support or research evidence about the treatment is available, treating the middle life non-smokers with the nicotine patch reduced the stress level to a greater extent.
“Depression, especially in older adults, can be characterized by memory problems — where their memory isn’t as good as people the same age and the same education who are not depressed,” said Warren Taylor.
“When we treat the depression, their memory may get better, but it often doesn’t improve to where it should be. We consider that part of the illness and part of the residual effects of depression. In some cases, even with effective antidepressant treatment, a memory may continue to worsen and progress to Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. We wanted a treatment that could help both depression and memory function.”
Research Study Summary:
Research study duration – 12 weeks
Conducted season – November 2015 and August 2017
Number of people involved in the research – 15
People age group – 60 years and older (average 65 years)
Treatment for – Depression disorder
And all participants were given a Nicotine patch and received no placebo patches.
Some of the participants were already under the medication with anti-depressant and some were not under any form of medications.
Nicotine patch was applied as an additional anti-depressant to some participants, who were already under medication. Participants with no medication were given Nicotine patch alone.
The experiment was conducted by slowly escalating the Nicotine patch up to 21mg. Each day the nicotine patch was replaced. The effect of the experiment was measured at three weeks interval and the participants were noticed with the mood stability.
Regarding the experiment, Taylor said
“The study was designed to see whether there’s a signal to encourage us going forward in a bigger, more definitive study. We don’t want to expose a lot of people to something that has no benefit unless we had preliminary data to suggest this approach could be effective,”
The research gave surprising results. More than 50 percent of the participants got free from depression and more than 80 percent of the participants responded well for the depression.
“As a whole, almost everyone showed improvement in mood. We observed improvement
regardless of whether the patch was added to an antidepressant or used alone,”
“However, memory improvements were less clear,” he said. “We saw some change in isolated test
measures, but not as dramatic a change as we saw with mood.” Taylor said.
Though the participants reacted well and received the benefits of Nicotine patch, Taylor said that the research needs to be further developed with the help of the federation.
“Our preliminary results are encouraging, certainly not definitive, but encouraging,” Taylor said.
“We’re interested not only in the clinical response but also trying to understand the biology of
depression, the mechanism of what’s happening inside the brain during the depression.”
Warnings from Taylor
Taylor further said that one should not simply take nicotine or cigarette in any of the forms to control or to treat depression by themselves.
Taylor further said “The patches are commercially available, but there are a lot of questions. We need to see if they’re a really good treatment if they help people in the long-term, and what are the risks we
don’t know about. We think that patches may be safer than cigarettes, but we don’t know what
happens when nonsmokers use them long-term. And that’s going to take a while.
“This could be a medication option for those who don’t respond well to the first line of
antidepressant medications,” he said. It might be an important treatment option when combined
with other medications. But there’s a lot of work to be done before we get there.”