Research Shows That Smoking Rots Brain Cells
The illnesses that can develop as a result of smoking and the statistics of smoke related deaths are known by most people, yet there are still around 10 million smokers in the UK.
Researchers at King’s College London have added fuel to the anti-smoking campaign with research that suggests that smoking rots brain cells. According to the study, smokers are damaging their memory and lowering their ability to learn. The study involved 8,800 volunteers over 50 years old, all of whom had high blood pressure and were overweight.
The study has been on-going for a number of years. Data was collected from each subject about their lifestyle and aptitude tests were carried out to determine their learning capabilities. The participants were given new words to learn and were asked to answer questions as quickly as they could to test their cognitive abilities. These tests were repeated after four years and then again eight years after the initial experiment.
Some of the lowest individual scores came from smokers. The overall results showed that a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke increases as cognitive ability decreases, so smokers are putting themselves at risk of developing heart issues because smoking destroys brain cells.
Earlier research has also indicated that smoking can lead to cognitive decline and even dementia, so this recent study reinforces an established medical concern. Hopefully, this research and future trials will help us to understand the factors that cause dementia so it can be prevented.
In the report smoking was described as the most important risk factor associated with a decline in mental ability. Other risk factors like high cholesterol and BMI did not influence cognitive ability as much. Leading a healthy lifestyle will help protect your heart and it may protect your brain too.