Six Months of Smoking is Adequate for Significant Brain Damage

August 20, 2009 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Six Months of Smoking is Adequate for Significant Brain Damage
A surprising new study with MS patients1 shows that even a six month smoking period at any previous time in the person's life (10 or more cigarettes per day) was associated with 17% more brain lesions compared to MS patients that never smoked. This news follows an earlier study that showed heavy smoking resulted in early onset Alzheimer's2.

Toxic irritants in cigarette smoke make your blood brain barrier more permeable, enabling the multiple chemicals in cigarettes to enter your brain more easily and induce neurotoxin damage.

Not everyone who smokes develops MS or Alzheimer's, so who is most at risk? MS is an autoimmune problem, which automatically places women more at risk than men, as women have ten times higher rates of autoimmune problems as men (75% of the individuals in this study were women).

However, any individual with a history of mental health issues, addiction issues, and/or hyper immune behavior (asthma, skin problems, rashes, allergies, etc) would be more at risk for this problem because their immune system may already be primed and hyper-aroused from other issues.

Many young people who smoke may not notice any “brain damage” symptoms while they are younger – or maybe they do. Regardless, this study proves that nerve damage from smoking is taking place, at least in a susceptible population, and that damage will be cumulative with other damage over the years and result in more advanced nerve decline problems.

I have long noticed nerve shaking in former smokers and those heavily exposed to secondary cigarette smoke. I believe that much of this damage can be undone and repaired with brain rejuvenation principles I routinely talk about in my blog posts, especially those relating to BDNF and some of the newer discoveries as I mentioned the other day in my posting on kalirin.

If you do nothing to improve yourself it will likely speed the progression and accumulation of neurotoxic damage over the course of your life. As your nerves go, so does your health.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Smoking and Brain Damage  Neurology  . Zivadinov, B. Weinstock-Guttman, K. Hashmi, N. Abdelrahman, M. Stosic, M. Dwyer, S. Hussein, J. Durfee, and M. Ramanathan
  2. ^ Smoking, Alcohol, and Alzheimer's    

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