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Smoking Impacts On Brain Function And Cognitive Performance

Uninvited news is awaiting smokers around the world. A new study performed by a group of researchers affirmed that regular smoking has a huge impact on brain functions. Smoking is independently found to suppress our cognition and awareness.

Smoking Impacts On Brain Function And Cognitive Performance

A disturbing statistic conducted in 2020 states that about 19% of the adults in the World are regular smokers. An overall population of about 14% is addicted to smoking accounts for about 34.1 million people. More than 50% of tobacco users die with tobacco use as the direct cause of their deaths. Smoking results in the death of 7 million people each year.

A previous study states that smoking can increase the risk of dementia to a higher extent. Apart from this smoking has numerous impacts on our health. They are:

This research was conducted with 3244 people of an average age of 69 engaged in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Medical record data between 2011 and 2014 of all these patients were acquired and analyzed by the researchers. A questionnaire session was conducted with all the participants about their smoking practices. The amount of cotinine in the blood of participants was determined, Cotinine is a byproduct of nicotine and is retained in the blood for a long time. This study found that about 24% of the individuals were detected to have Type 2 diabetes and 77% were found to have High Blood Pressure. 

These participants were given four cognitive operation tests to check their brain activity. Skills like memory, speed, attention, immediate word recall, and delayed word recall were computed. 

The researchers found no correlations between the test scores for language and higher cotinine levels in the blood. But people with high cotinine levels were found to have lower scores in memory, speed, and attention. It was common with people suffering from both High blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. 

Senior author of the study Dr. Neal Parikh, assistant professor of neurology and neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medicine’s Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute said: “It was astonishing to find that smoking independently impacted cognitive efficiency without the involvement of High blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. These results affirm that smoking has a deep-rooted effect on the brain and other health states. “

Co-director of the American Heart Association’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, Dr. Rose Marie Robertson who was not part of the study said: However, the exact cause and effect of smoking impacting brain health was not known. It adds proof to the concept that smoking declines mental and cardiac health. People should undergo medical counseling and therapies to quit smoking. It is an emergency for chain smokers and youngsters to quit smoking to protect their health. 

The only solution for this problem is to quit smoking. Some of the effective steps to quit smoking are:

To some extent, statistics say that the number of people smoking has decreased to a greater extent. About 20.9% of the population in 2005 was found to be smokers which have now declined to 14.0% in 2019. Various medical counseling centers and rehabilitation programs are conducted by volunteers and NGOs to help people quit smoking. The government also puts forth various schemes and awareness programs about smoking to make people stay away from tobacco use.

This discovery is considered a preliminary study until getting published in a peer-reviewed journal. This study will be demonstrated at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference.

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