A study led by scientists of King's College in London shows that smoking degenerates the brain through its influence on the memory and the rationing abilities.The study, published in the Age and Ageing journal, consisted of the observation of 8,800 people aged over 50 in order to determine whether the possibility of a heart attack is in any way related to a human's brain condition.
The experiment consisted of first collecting information about the patients' lifestyle then having them take a series of brain tests during which people had to learn in a minute as many new terms as they were able to, according to Midland Daily News.
After analyzing the test results, scientists concluded that there was a strong link between smoking and poor performances during the tests.
It has also been proved that the risk of a heart attack was deeply related with the “cognitive decline,” Samay Live reports.
“Cognitive decline becomes more common with ageing and for an increasing number of people interferes with daily functioning and well-being,” said Dr. Alex Dregan, participant of the study.
“We have identified a number of risk factors which could be associated with accelerated cognitive decline, all of which, could be modifiable.”
There are still uncertainties about the real contribution of smoking to brain dysfunctions such as dementia.
“Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and this study adds further weight to that evidence,” explained Dr. Simon Ridley, scientist from Alzheimer's Research UK.
However, researchers say the danger is not unavoidable, but measures must be taken to make people aware of the risks they expose themselves to.
“One in three people over 65 will develop dementia but there are things people can do to reduce their risk,” declared Dr. Ridley.
“Eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked and not smoking can all make a difference.”