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Smokers more at risk for Alzheimer's

By Broshious, Sep 4, 2007 | | |
  1. Broshious
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who smoke are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia than people who have quit or have never smoked, Dutch researchers reported on Sunday.

    Smokers over the age of 55 were 50 percent more likely to develop dementia than similar nonsmokers, Dr. Monique Breteler of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues found.

    Writing in the journal Neurology, Breteler and colleagues said they followed nearly 7,000 people age 55 and older for an average of seven years.

    Over that time, 706 of the people developed dementia.

    There is a well-known gene that raises the risk of dementia called APOE4 or apolipoprotein E4.

    Smoking did not affect the Alzheimer's risk for people who had that gene. But people who did not have the gene had a 70 percent higher risk of Alzheimer's if they smoked.

    Smoking could cause small strokes, which in turn damage the brain and cause dementia, Breteler said.

    "Smoking increases the risk of cerebrovascular disease (stroke), which is also tied to dementia," Breteler said in a statement.

    "Another mechanism could be through oxidative stress, which can damage cells in the blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries. Smokers experience greater oxidative stress than nonsmokers, and increased oxidative stress is also seen in Alzheimer's disease."

    Oxidative stress is a process akin to rusting, in which chemical reactions damage the DNA.



    I could've sworn that I remember reading on here that smoking was helpful in preventing Alzheimer's. Maybe it was Parkinson's?

Comments

  1. El Calico Loco
    I also remember reading about smoking being good against Alzheimer's. Here's what I found with a quick search:

    http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_096.html

    It could be that this has been disproven since, but I'm very skeptical about any new study about smoking. The politics and absolute hysteria surrounding the subject make it difficult to find any non-biased sources. The propaganda on second-hand smoke is completely out to lunch (the actual scientists can't seem to find much danger even when they really want to).

    Smoking's not going to increase your lifespan, but damn...we've reached an age where smokers are viewed as lepers, even by those who think nothing of quaffing a triple-espresso latte or sucking down a Big Mac.


    ECL
    (And don't get me started on the health nazis...dumb assholes think they're gonna live forever...)
  2. wednesday
    thank you so much
    first of all i have lately been expressing my thoughts on caffeine to people i know and nobody even think of it as a drug...and with food...jesus

    the last thing in the world i would want is to live forever

    is the article talking about smoking tobbacco or marijuana
    i remember reading that marijuana was helpful against alzheimers
    so is this an all encompassing all smokers are more likely to get it or just with one or the other, or any other smokeable i guess
  3. augentier
    it's talkin about cigs
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