New research on the harmful consequences for health that implies the consumption of tobacco has revealed that, at least in the case of men, smoking accelerates the cognitive impairment, and that this early aging of the brain manifests itself from 45 years of age.
The study that has reached this conclusion, published in Archives of General Psychiatry, has been carried out in the United Kingdom with the participation of 5,099 men and 2,137 women, who had an average age of 56 years at the beginning of the study, and who were evaluated over 25 years. Severine Sabia, from the University College of London and principal author of the work, explains that the results show that male smokers present, with only 50 years, the same deterioration of cognitive ability that is observed in a male of 60 years who has never smoked.
The executive function of the brain, which includes complex operations such as programming and organizing tasks or determining the behavior to be followed in a given situation, is the most affected by brain aging
The women, however, did not show any appreciable cognitive deterioration, although the researchers believe that this could be because they consumed a smaller amount of tobacco, or because the number of men who participated in the study was much higher.
The executive function of the brain, which includes various complex operations such as scheduling and organizing tasks, drawing up action plans and determining the behavior to be followed in a given situation, is the one that is most affected by brain aging, according to the researchers.
As in the case of other pathologies directly related to tobacco, quitting smoking in time can significantly reduce the risk of damage to the brain. However, the results of the research showed that men who had quit smoking ten years before the first control were still more likely to develop early cognitive impairment, a risk that only disappeared in those who had not smoked for many years.