Navigation Links
Alcoholics Who Smoke May Face Early Brain Aging

FRIDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Alcoholics who smoke have more problems with memory, problem solving and quick thinking than those who are nonsmokers, researchers have found.

This "early aging" of the brain gets worse over time, according to the study published online May 17 and in the October print issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

The study measured mental or "cognitive" functioning.

"The independent and interactive effects of smoking and other drug use on cognitive functioning among individuals with [alcohol dependence] are largely unknown," Alecia Dager, an associate research scientist in the department of psychiatry at Yale University, said in a journal news release. "This is problematic because many heavy drinkers also smoke. Furthermore, in treatment programs for alcoholism, the issue of smoking may be largely ignored," she noted.

For the study, adult participants were divided into four groups. The first included 39 healthy people who never smoked. The other groups included people seeking treatment for alcoholism after not drinking for one month. Of these, 30 people had never smoked, 21 were former smokers and 68 were current smokers.

According to study corresponding author Timothy Durazzo, the investigators "focused on the effects of chronic cigarette smoking and increasing age on cognition because previous research suggested that each has independent, adverse effects on multiple aspects of cognition and brain biology in people with and without alcohol use disorders."

The researchers analyzed participants' mental ability in a number of areas.

Durazzo, who is an assistant professor in the department of radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California, San Francisco, said in the news release that "at one month of abstinence, actively smoking [alcohol-dependent participants] had greater-than-normal age effects on measures of learning, memory, processing speed, reasoning and problem-solving, and fine motor skills."

In contrast, among participants with alcohol problems, "never-smokers and former-smokers showed equivalent changes on all measures with increasing age as the never-smoking controls," he explained.

"These results indicate the combination of alcohol dependence and active chronic smoking was related to an abnormal decline in multiple cognitive functions with increasing age," Durazzo said, and that "the combined effects of these drugs are especially harmful and become even more apparent in older age."

He pointed out that other factors, including nutrition and exercise, may also influence brain function during early abstinence. He added that underlying medical issues including high blood pressure and diabetes as well as psychiatric conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder could also play a role.

Based on their findings, the authors suggested that as people get older, chronic smoking and heavy drinking are associated with increased oxidative damage to the brain.

"Oxidative damage results from increased levels of free radicals and other compounds that directly injure neurons and other cells that make up the brain. Cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption expose the brain to a tremendous amount of free radicals," Durazzo explained.

While the study tied alcohol dependence combined with smoking to early brain aging, it didn't establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

The researchers advised that people seeking treatment for alcohol abuse should also be routinely offered help to quit smoking.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more about effects of alcohol on the brain.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, news release, May 17, 2013

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Alcoholics Anonymous participation promotes long-term recovery
2. Quitting Drinking May Help Alcoholics Bone Loss
3. Shame about past alcoholism predicts relapse and declining health in recovering alcoholics
4. Obese Workers Health Care Costs Top Those of Smokers
5. Half of Young Cigarette Smokers Also Smoke Pot: Survey
6. Exercise helps smokers to quit smoking, to remain smoke-free and to reduce the risk of death
7. Joint-Replacement Failure Rate Higher for Smokers: Studies
8. 1 in 3 households misreports smoke alarm coverage
9. Apartment dwellers often subjected to neighbors tobacco smoke
10. Secondhand smoke continues to vex children with asthma
11. Many Asthmatic Kids Harmed by Secondhand Smoke: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Alcoholics Who Smoke May Face Early Brain Aging
(Date:12/1/2015)... CHICAGO (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... risk quantification and optimization of adjunctive imaging is the focus of numerous abstracts ... (RSNA) meeting, November 29-December 4, 2015. Nine abstracts highlight the use of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched the VaPro Plus Pocket™ touch ... product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said Michael Gresavage, Vice President ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (December ... the organization has awarded Education and Developmental Therapies (EDT), an Applied Behavior Analysis ... celebrates exceptional special needs providers that excel in synthesizing the areas of clinical ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... it has been awarded a fixed price per sprint agile development contract to ... at $34 million over five years, provides software engineering, infrastructure, as well as ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... clinical solutions for the care management and population health arenas, is pleased to ... clinical and cost containment services, has successfully implemented the ACUITY Complete Care™ Management ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... VIEJO, Calif. , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the prevalence of symptoms for pseudobulbar affect (PBA), ... outbursts of laughing and/or crying resulting from certain ... use of antipsychotic medications in nursing home residents, ... Geriatric Psychiatry. The study showed that almost one ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Research and ... of the "2016 Global Enteric Disease Testing ... Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, Yersinia--France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, ... Japan . --> ... The report is based on a combination ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... UPPSALA, Sverige, December 1, 2015 ... Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG, Bern ... att ingå i en klinisk studie av palbociclib, ... --> Studien, med namn PYTHIA, ... med anti-hormonella läkemedel i kombination med palbociclib, som ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: