Expatica news

Smoking ‘speeds up brain decline’

23 March 2004

MADRID – Smoking could accelerate the decline of cognitive powers after the age of 65, according to a study published Tuesday.

The international study, which was partly the work of a group of Spanish researchers, appeared to contradict earlier studies which claimed the body had “neuro- protectors” to stop the damage caused by tobacco.

Marisa Barquero, a member of the Spanish Neurological Society, said it was not known if this decline of the brain was due to the tobacco itself or to some other cause.

Barquero said the study should be treated with caution, but it had included other variables which could have caused cognitive deterioration like physiological risks and levels of schooling.

The study, which involved tests on 9,000 people was published in the Neurology journal.

It found that the deterioration of the brain was greater among smokers than those who did not smoke.

It had no relation to a person’s sex or any family history of dementia.

It also showed the more cigarettes a person smoked, the quicker their brain deteriorated.

Barquero said it was necessary to analyse the study’s finding to discover if it was tobacco itself which caused this change or smoking which provoked other problems like heart disease.

These secondary problems might then provoke a decline in cognitive powers.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

 Subject: Spanish news