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Cigarette smoking may link to memory loss
2012.03.12
Cigarette smoking is not only hazardous to health, but also affects memory. A recent study in United Kingdom found that the memory loss among social smokers was similar to the level of daily smokers.

The Northumbria University’s School of Life Sciences conducted research study among 28 “social smokers” who smoke around 20 cigarettes once or twice a week, typically when out at the weekend, along with 28 people who smoke 10 to 15 cigarettes daily and 28 people who had never smoked. All of them had no history of substance abuse or alcoholism.

The researchers gave them a video-based prospective memory test to do. Participants were asked to remember a series of pre-determined actions at specific locations when viewing a short clip of a busy street. They were asked to remember to text a friend when passing a particular store. The results revealed that never-smokers performed better than daily smokers and social smokers. Meanwhile, no significant difference was found between daily smokers and social smokers.

“Smoking-related memory decline in general has been linked with increases in accelerated cerebral degeneration such as brain shrinkage,” says Dr. Tom Heffernan, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, who conducted the research with Dr. Terence O’Neill. “This new research suggests that restricting smoking to weekends makes no difference – smoking damages your memory.”

Source: Northumbria University, United Kingdom
 
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