Navigation Links
Smoking, but not past alcohol abuse, may impair mental function
Date:3/15/2010

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 new study suggests.

In a study of 287 men and women ages 31 to 60, researchers found 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 researchers report in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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, on the other hand, required 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 assessments 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 related to cognitive scores only among women, it's possible that there is a role for estrogen, according to 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 usually occurs. In theory, nicotine may exacerbate any brain-cell effects of fluctuating estrogen levels in women as they age, the researchers speculate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kristin Caspers, Ph.D.
kristin-caspers@uiowa.edu
319-335-4101
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. AcuAids Announces Acupuncture at Home to Stop Smoking, Lose Weight and More
2. New Survey Shows Slow Decline in Youth Smoking, Troubling Increase in Smokeless Tobacco Use - Congress, States Must Step Up Tobacco Prevention Efforts
3. First-Time Father-to-Be Quits Smoking, Wins $5,000 in The QuitCash Challenge(TM)
4. New Analysis: Women of Low Socio-Economic Status Face Unique Challenges Related to Smoking, Smoking Ban Policies
5. Smoking, Hypertension Each Account for 1 in 5 U.S. Deaths
6. 1 in 5 U.S. Deaths Attributed to Smoking, High BP
7. No April Fooling: Higher Taxes On Tobacco Really Do Reduce Smoking, Says American Lung Association of Upper Midwest
8. Smoking, Drinking Should Matter in Movie Ratings, Parent Survey Finds
9. Report Shows Progress in Fight Against Cancer, but Congress, States Must Step Up Efforts to Reduce Smoking, Lung Cancer
10. Smoking, teens and their parents: New research
11. Smoking, Drinking Raise Risks of Esophagus, Stomach Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2017 Morris ... of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is taking ... in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an individual ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the Los Angeles ... to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring articles written ... known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi says “I ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, ... a treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart ... or more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... In the United States, single-family home owners ... New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and California—the average is $7,000 ... property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively lower cost of living in places ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... in life sciences content management, presents its enhanced Pepper Flow promotional review ... 16 -18, 2017. Pepper Flow’s increased insight-driven capabilities help marketers streamline the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in ... medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative ... into a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient outcomes, ... Design ... Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for Disease ... end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end ... mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the end ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Labs announces the European launch of their new low volume, high ... in Cambridge, U.K on October 4th. The ... with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while using far less sample volume ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: