October 15, 2017, 14:25
A group of scientists from the University of California led by Timothy Durazzo in the course of a study revealed that the brains of people suffering from both alcohol and nicotine addictions age faster: their memory deteriorates, their speed of thinking decreases.
The study involved volunteers aged 26 to 71 years. 119 people with alcohol dependence, but who abstained from alcohol for at least a month, were divided into 3 groups: those who smoke (68 people), those who quit smoking (21 people) and those who never smoked (30 people). There was also a control group of 39 healthy people who never smoked or smoked only occasionally and very rarely.
Scientists were interested in: visuospatial functions of the brain, information processing speed, general intelligence, fine motor skills, learning efficiency and memory. They assessed the condition of all groups using a questionnaire.
It turned out that the presence of problems with drinking in combination with smoking leads to noticeable aging of the brain, especially when compared with people who do not have addictions.
The results of the study are of particular relevance to alcohol treatment programs, as most of these programs do not take smoking into account. If the findings are confirmed by more global experiments, this will allow the development of new recommendations for centers in which patients are helped to deal with alcoholism.
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