According to a new study, researchers from the University of the Netherlands, Smoking negatively affects the area of the brain important for memory. According to the findings, Smoking causes the buildup of calcium in the hippocampus – gray matter that stores recent memories and events that happened long ago. The study of nearly 2,000 elderly people showed that people who smoked or were diabetic, more likely to suffer from vascular calcification in the hippocampus. These data were obtained during a CT-scan of the brain.
Damage Smoking the heart and lungs, it is well known, but much less is known about the effects of Smoking on the brain. Despite the fact that heavy smokers are twice as likely to develop dementia, the mechanism of its occurrence remains unclear. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia associated with damage to the hippocampus. According to doctors, that calcification of blood vessels in the hippocampus may be associated with vascular problems that contribute to decreased cognitive abilities.
“We knew that the calcification in the hippocampus are highly common among people, especially among the elderly. Now we found out that this calcification is associated with cognitive function, says Dr. Esther de Brauer. – It is known that Smoking and diabetes are risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is likely that Smoking and diabetes are also risk factors for vascular calcification of the hippocampus, increasing the chances of suffering from dementia”.
The researchers plan to conduct additional studies involving different groups of people in order to better understand the possible links between vascular calcification of the hippocampus, and cognitive problems.