Scientists find proof that smoking damages the brain
Big labels with phrases like “smoking can cause a slow and painful death” adorn the front of cigarette boxes across the nation but they often aren’t enough to convince nicotine fiends to break the habit. Countless reports about links to lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and the like are also well known but seemingly just as futile. However the following statement might just do the trick; smoking literally rots the brain….
In a study published in the journal Age and Ageing, scientists at Kings College in London found that smoking has detrimental effects on key mental functions such as memorising,planning as well as general mental capability.
Over 8,800 volunteers over the age of 50 were examined in the study and it was discovered that smoking reduced participants performances in all three categories after four years.
High blood pressure and being overweight were linked to low memory but neither undermined mental performance as strongly as smoking.
Another study led by Debapriya Ghosh and Dr Anirban Basu from the Indian National Brain Research Center (NBRC), have found that a compound in tobacco provokes white blood cells in the central nervous system to mistakenly attack healthy cells, leading to severe neurological damage and disorders like Multiple Sclerosis.
Researchers have urged the public to be aware of the consequences of damaging lifestyle choices;
Dr Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia. This study adds weight to that”.
The UK has an estimated 10 million smokers and smoking remains the single leading cause of preventable deaths in the country, with 112,000 people dying of smoke related diseases in 2009. Whether these developments will give smokers the impetus to stop remains to be seen but the thought of physically destroying your brain is a frightening one….