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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smoking linked with alzheimers and dementia

I thought this study was interesting, it shows that smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing all of the following:
  1. Lung cancer
  2. Heart disease
  3. Stroke
  4. Emphysema
  5. Infertility
  6. Alzheimer's disease.
Actually, we already knew the first five, yet this new study conducted at the the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California concluded that people who are heavy smokers -- those who smoke up to two packs a day -- increases your risk of developing alzheimer's disease by a whopping 157 percent, and vascular dementia by 172 percent.

The study findings are similar to previous studies that show smoking is linked with alzheimers and dementia.  Now the conundrum is determining the why smoking affects brain function.  However, experts do believe that smoking causes "inflammation and oxidative stress — cell damage from toxic free radicals in the body — conditions that are associated with the onset of Alzheimer's," according to study researcher and scientist Rachel Whitmer.

The study also determined that those who smoked less than half a pack a day did not have an increased risk for developing alzheimers or dementia than those who never smoked. 

Other studies were done in the past that showed that the more cigarettes a person smokes the greater the risk of developing mental deterioration, although this current study was the most thorough and most conclusive. 

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