backtop


Print 95 comment(s) - last by PitViper007.. on Jun 30 at 12:36 PM


A new study shows that smoking tobacco cigarettes, like consuming alcohol, can lead to severe brain damage, though the mechanism is different. The study also suggests that second hand smoke exposure can also lead to brain damage.  (Source: The New York Times)

Perhaps that Guiness World Book Record for most cigarettes smoked wasn't such a good idea, now that the brain damage smoking tobacco causes is known...  (Source: Guiness World Book of Records)
Move over alcohol, brain damage has a new buddy

New research is set to be published in the July issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry that looks to offer yet another damning medical argument against smoking and allowing second hand smoke in public locations.  The new report finds that Tobacco smoke contains a compound which can cause brain damage.

The new study examined NNK, a procarinogen.  NNK is a toxic derivative of nicotine produced when the chemical is cured in preparation for use in cigarettes.  NNK is not found in other smoked drugs, such as cannabis.

Before the study it was thought that the compound could be damaging to the body, but it was unclear how damaging it was.  In the study, performed by Debapriya Ghosh and Dr Anirban Basu from the Indian National Brain Research Center (NBRC), it was found that the compound caused white blood cells in the central nervous system to attack healthy cells causing severe neurological damage.

Unlike alcohol or other forms of drug abuse, the drug does not impact brain tissue directly via oxidation or receptor damage.  Rather, it triggers an inflammatory immunological response that is believed to lead to Multiple Sclerosis and other brain diseases.

Both with in vivo, in mice, and in vitro tests, the researchers discovered that the compound elevated proinflammatory signaling proteins, proinflammatory effector proteins and other stress related proteins, and increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines, which act as molecular messengers between cells.  These factors led to increased activity by microglia, the brain's white blood cells responsible for attacking intruders.

The microglia turned on healthy cells, due to the increased level of these compounds.  States Professor Ghosh, "Considering the extreme economical and disease burden of neuroinflammation related disorders, it is extremely important from a medical, social and economic point of view to discover if NNK in tobacco causes neuroinflammation.  Our findings prove that tobacco compound NNK can activate microglia significantly which subsequently harms the nerve cells.

While most studies have focused on health threats from smoked tobacco, NNK is also present in chewing tobacco, helping make a stronger case against its use.  NNK is present in 20-310 nanograms in cigarettes, but is also can be present in concentrations as high as 26 nanograms in smoke filmed rooms.  This report adds more evidence that second hand smoke may damage non-smokers' health.

Concludes Professor Ghosh, "This research sheds light on the processes that lead to nerve cell damage in those who smoke cigarettes or consume tobacco products on regular basis."


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Record Picture
By Spookster on 6/26/2009 9:58:05 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
by callmeroy on June 26, 2009 at 8:25 AM First, as one who has more stand up comedy and comedy songs on his Ipod than real music....that was a good bit -- I have that whole Denis Leary special on my Ipod.... Second, I understand the addictive nature of cigarettes once you start --- what I don't understand is *WHY* folks start in the first place. I mean it is just stupid silly to me....I mean what's attractive about smoking? It's not like it tastes good and if you think its cool to smell like smoke you are very strange. I mean drinking -- while also extremely bad for you --- at least makes more sense to me why people start....because there are some tasty alcoholic drinks out there and well if you are thirsty it does help with that too.


Curiosity and peer pressure. Only problem is that it only takes a few cigs to get hooked. I started when I was probably 14 and smoked for 15 years before I was finally able to break free. It does change your brain chemistry and affects the way you think. Smoking that first few cigs is like joining a cult that brainwashes you. The cigarettes take over your life and you find yourself rearranging your daily schedule around when you can smoke a cigarette. As a kid I knew they were probably bad but as like me any warnings on the pack aren't going to stop most people. Education might help and more involvement from parents and schools reinforcing how bad it can be might help.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki