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Cigarette smoking linked to brain volume change, study

A new study investigated the link between cigarette smoking and brain volume in 32,094 participants of European descent using the UK Biobank dataset. The results indicated a strong link between a history of daily smoking and decreased brain volume, with heavier smoking associated with a greater decline. 

The most significant impact was observed in total gray matter volume. Additionally, a genetic risk score for smoking initiation was linked to a history of daily smoking, but only modestly associated with total gray matter volume. Overall, the study supports the idea that a history of daily smoking is strongly connected to a reduction in total brain volume.

"There was no evidence of an increase in brain volume following smoking cessation. ... These findings provide additional evidence that a history of daily smoking is strongly associated with long-term global adverse consequences in the brain," concluded the investigators.

Read more: Biological Psychiatry

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