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Does Smoking Kill Brain Cells?


Smoking is a fad amongst teenagers but it often persists in them. Those who take up the act of smoking in their early teens are usually influenced by the peer groups. After sometime, they cannot give up the habit of smoking even if they want to. The endless cycle goes on and one becomes a smoker as a result. Today there are many adverse side effects on health that have been discovered to be brought on or aggravated by smoking. From lung cancer to other kinds of respiratory diseases, a compromised immune system to killing brain cells, there are no good aspects or side effects that can be attributed to smoking.

Direct Biological Evidence Found
As regards the question whether smoking kills brain cells, there has been direct biological evidence that has been discovered by scientists. That would certainly help to act as a greater incentive to stop people from smoking and urge them to discontinue such a habit. Anti-smoking groups are promoting the latest finding in a greater way so that people are discouraged to take up a smoke the next time.

Research Conducted
The research conducted comprised of three groups of rats who were given varying levels of nicotine:

  • One group was given low levels of nicotine
  • One group was given moderate amount of nicotine
  • The third group was given high amount of nicotine
  • The fourth group was not administered any nicotine

The rats were allowed to absorb the nicotine for an hour a day and it was continued for 42 days. They were killed after that and their brains dissected in order to understand the effects.

The findings were:

  • The rodents which took on higher to medium doses of nicotine suffered a loss of 50% of their brain cells and the production of brain cells
  • The rate of brain cell death was higher
  • The non nicotine group did not show such rate of loss of brain cells or reduction in brain cell production
  • There was a fall in a protein of the brain, PSA-NCAM that occurred in all rats which took in nicotine in different amounts

The protein is known to play a vital role in the adaptability feature of the brain. It is related to the ability of the brain to learn as well as to memorize.


Source: GoHealthTips


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