Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoking may thin the brain

Date:
December 3, 2010
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Many brain imaging studies have reported that tobacco smoking is associated with large-scale and wide-spread structural brain abnormalities.

Many brain imaging studies have reported that tobacco smoking is associated with large-scale and wide-spread structural brain abnormalities.

Related Articles


The cerebral cortex is a specific area of the brain responsible for many important higher-order functions, including language, information processing, and memory. Reduced cortical thickness has been associated with normal aging, reduced intelligence, and impaired cognition.

However, prior research had not described the impact of smoking upon cortical thickness.

A new study, published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry, now reports concerning findings about the impact of smoking.

Researchers compared cortical thickness in volunteers, both smokers and never-smokers, who were without medical or psychiatric illnesses.

Smokers exhibited cortical thinning in the left medial orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, their cortical thickness measures negatively correlated with the amount of cigarettes smoked per day and the magnitude of lifetime exposure to tobacco smoke. In other words, heavier smoking was associated with more pronounced thinning of cortical tissue.

The orbitofrontal cortex has frequently been implicated in drug addiction. The current findings suggest that smoking-related cortical thinning may increase the risk for addictions, including smoking.

"Since the brain region in which we found the smoking-associated thinning has been related to impulse control, reward processing and decision making, this might explain how nicotine addiction comes about," explained Dr. Simone Kühn. "In a follow-up study, we plan to explore the rehabilitative effects of quitting smoking on the brain."

"The current findings suggest that smoking may have a cumulative effect on the brain," noted John Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Yale University. "This concerning finding highlights the importance of targeting young smokers for antismoking interventions."

For now, this study adds to a long and ever-growing list of reasons that smokers should consider quitting.

The article by Simone Kühn, Florian Schubert, and Jürgen Gallinat. Kühn and Gallinat are affiliated with St. Hedwig Krankenhaus, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany. Kühn is also affiliated with the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Experimental Psychology and Ghent Institute for Functional and Metabolic Imaging, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, and also the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom. Schubert is with Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Department of Medical Metrology, Berlin, Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simone Kühn, Florian Schubert, Jürgen Gallinat. Reduced Thickness of Medial Orbitofrontal Cortex in Smokers. Biological Psychiatry, 2010; 68 (11): 1061-1065 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.08.004

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Smoking may thin the brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101202124205.htm>.
Elsevier. (2010, December 3). Smoking may thin the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101202124205.htm
Elsevier. "Smoking may thin the brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101202124205.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins