MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Smoking may impair mental function

Back to neurology news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Neurology News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Smoking may impair mental function




Men and women with a history of alcohol abuse may not see long-term negative effects on their memory and thinking, but female smokers do, a newly released study suggests.

In a study of 287 men and women ages 31 to 60, scientists observed that those with past alcohol-use disorders performed similarly on standard tests of cognitive function as those with no past drinking problems.

The findings were not as positive when it came to tobacco, however.

In general, women who had ever been addicted to smoking had lower scores on certain cognitive tests than their nonsmoking counterparts. The same pattern was not true of men, however, the scientists report in the recent issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs



Smoking may impair mental function

The reasons for the disparate findings on alcohol and smoking are not fully clear. Nor do they necessarily mean that serious alcohol problems would not affect long-term memory and other cognitive abilities; most study participants who had ever had drinking problems met the criteria for alcohol abuse rather than the more serious diagnosis of dependence.

Alcohol abuse was diagnosed when people reported one symptom of problem drinking -- drinking and driving, for instance, or failing to meet work or school obligations as a result of drinking. Dependence, conversely, mandatory people to have at least three symptoms -- such as needing to drink more and more to achieve the same effects and experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms when they did not drink.

If more study participants had been alcohol dependent, the findings on cognition might have been different, says lead researcher Dr. Kristin Caspers, an assistant research scientist in the department of psychiatry at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

But the bottom line, she says, is that people with a history of alcohol abuse appear not to be "doomed" to suffer cognitive effects when current levels of drinking are in the light to moderate range.

The findings are based on evaluations of 115 men and 169 women with an average age of 43. Overall, 45 percent of men and 37 percent of women met the criteria for lifetime alcohol abuse, and 13 percent and nearly 4 percent, respectively, had a lifetime history of alcohol dependence. One quarter of women and 18 percent of men had a history of tobacco dependence.

Overall, women who reported having ever smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day scored lower than nonsmokers on tests of executive function -- that is, "higher-order" brain functions that include the ability to reason, plan and organize. The scores were, however, all within normal range.

As for why smoking was correlation to cognitive scores only among women, it's possible that there is a role for estrogen, as per Caspers.

Animal research suggests that nicotine lowers blood estrogen levels and may inhibit the positive effects of the hormone on brain cells. Sixty percent of the women in the current study were between the ages of 40 and 54, when menopause commonly occurs. In theory, nicotine may exacerbate any brain-cell effects of fluctuating estrogen levels in women as they age, the scientists speculate.


Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
Men and women with a history of alcohol abuse may not see long-term negative effects on their memory and thinking, but female smokers do, a newly released study suggests. In a study of 287 men and women ages 31 to 60, scientists observed that those with past alcohol-use disorders performed similarly on standard tests of cognitive function as those with no past drinking problems.

Medicineworld.org: Smoking may impair mental function

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.