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:5/31/2016)... ... May 31, 2016 , ... Spectrum Aquatics has launched a ... has been designed and built with the user in mind. , “Over the last ... informed us that an ADA 400 lbs lift is a necessary requirement for certain ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... ... In a recent interview on The Greenburgh Report radio show hosted by Greenburgh, ... (1460 AM), leading medical insurance advocate Adria Goldman Gross discussed several eye-opening issues that ... , During the interview with Mr. Feiner that aired on May 7, 2016, Ms. ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... May 31, 2016 , ... ... and print media enterprise focused on patients with cancer, has added Cancer ... readers and website visitors with more timely content on continuing successful careers while ...
(Date:5/30/2016)... ... 30, 2016 , ... Shaolin Institute officially starts the annual ... intensive summer training camp starts on June 17th on Shaolin Institute Atlanta Campus. ... a fun and unique experience with an opportunity to learn KungFu martial arts ...
(Date:5/28/2016)... ... 28, 2016 , ... SuperCloset is proud to officially launch our “Helping ... issues, struggles and obstacles veterans’ need to overcome in order to face their life ... retired military veteran(s) with a donated SuperCloset product based on the needs and ability ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2016)... , May 31, 2016 The ... is progressing at a CAGR of 10.6% within a ... valued at US$0.46 bn in 2013. Owing to favorable ... to reach US$0.88 bn by the end of this ... from the market,s holistic representation in a research report ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ZIONA, Israel , May 31, ... medicine company utilizing its proprietary plant-based rhCollagen technology for ... authorization from the Chief Scientist of Israel,s ... of its NIS 12 million development project for 2016. The ... higher than last year,s authorized grant, which totaled NIS ...
(Date:5/30/2016)... India , May 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Healthcare Biometrics Market by ... (Signature, Voice)), Multifactor, Multimodal), Application (Workforce Management), ... Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... Million by 2021 from USD 1,182.6 Million ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: