Smokers have an average 50% greater chance of developing Alzheimers disease or dementia than non-smokers or people who have given up, according to research by the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam published on Tuesday in Neurology magazine.
But while people without the Alzheimers gene do not have an increased risk, smokers without it increase their risk of developing Alzheimers by 70%.
The results are based on a major population study and show that smoking can increase the risk in a number of ways. For example, smoking can have an adverse effect on the blood vessels in the brain. In addition, it can damage the body’s ability to detoxify or repair the damage caused by free-radicals.
This research is in stark contrast to research carried out in 1991 and published in the British Medical Journal and the International Journal of Epidemiology, which found that smoking can slow the onset of Alzheimers and dementia.
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