Researchers asked 8,800 people over age 50 to take a series of memory tests, which were repeated four years later, and again eight years later. They found that any risk factor which elevates the chance of stroke or heart attack causes mental degradation.
While the study initially sought to measure individual risk factors’ correlation with declining brain functions, researchers concluded that all cardiovascular risks have a similar end result. However, the study found that smoking, more than any other factor, “was consistently associated with lower performance on all” the memory tests.
In other words, the study explained, among other bad habits, smoking actually “rots” the brain.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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