Friday, February 13, 2015
New Study Shows Scary Effect Of Smoking On The Brain
As if cancer, premature aging, gum disease, lung disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease weren’t reasons enough to quit smoking, a new study shows yet another scary effect of lighting up: Thinning of the cortex, the brain’s outer layer.While the cortex is known to thin as a person ages, that thinning seems to be accelerated in smokers. This part of the brain is where functions such as memory, language, and perception take place — and a thinning cortex is associated with cognitive decline. For the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers looked at health data and MRI brain scans of 244 men and 260 women with an average age of 73; some of the people in the study were current smokers, some were ex-smokers, and some were non-smokers.