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Cigarette smoking and thinning of the brain’s cortex

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A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry, looks at the long-term effect of smoking can cause thinning of the cortex, which is involved in critical cognitive functions such as memory and language.

Although the cortex becomes thinner with normal ageing, the study found that smoking accelerates the thinning process.  They also found that smoking and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as the brain regions affected overlaps significantly with those associated with AD pathophysiology.

Their findings suggest that quitting helps restore part of the cortex’s thickness ranging from a few weeks to 100+ years, depending the amount smoked in their life.