World No Tobacco Day today

Though, tobacco affecting the lungs and heart is well known,  smokers are little aware that nicotine affects more on functioning of brain.

If the smoking does have an impact on almost all important parts of the body, it mainly impairs the brain from its normal functioning leading to various disorders.

The hospitals are reporting more and more cases of young men developing brain attacks and difficulty in mobility, even as the cases of heart attacks and lung ailments are becoming common among people in less than 40 years of age.

Though, various other factors are also responsible for it, smoking has been found to have a catalysing effect on the human health, particularly among the chronic and chain smokers.
According to Dr Maqsood Ahmed A R, Head of Neurosurgery at Vikram Jeev, a unit of Vikram Group of Hospitals smoking thickens the blood vessels and blocks the blood supply to the brain partially.

Such a condition may lead to stroke which is called cerebral infarction. Smoking is also directly related to brain aneurysms and their rupture leading to brain haemorrhage and sudden deaths.

Aneurysms are weak spots on brain blood vessels and can rupture any time. Smoking also causes oxidative stress to brain cells.

A recent research has found that a compound in tobacco called NNK provokes white blood cells in the central nervous system to attack healthy cells, leading to severe neurological damage. Tobacco also causes Oeripheral Neuropathy leading to damage to all peripheral nerves.

“The long term smoking will also have harmful effects on memory, problem-solving and IQ. Smoking diminishes the thinking ability of a person,” Dr Maqsood told Deccan Herald.

He says that the cases of heart attacks and strokes among the younger generation between the age group of 30-40 years and sometimes less than that have shown a constant rise recently.

The smoking will affect each and every organ of the body. The brain attacks are more serious than heart attack as the individual will be permanently disabled or becomes immobile. The brain diseases are crippling disorders which will prove a serious burden on society, he says.

Senior neurologist Dr Bhaskar of Basappa Memorial Hospital says the tobacco does have bad impact on the brain as much as it damages the heart and lungs. Interestingly, damage to any part of the body, including that of heart and lungs will definitely have an impact on brain cells and blood vessels.

Another senior neurologist Ramesh Ranganathan, Chief Neurologist, Apollo Hospitals also concurs with his counterparts and says that nicotine in tobacco blocks the blood vessels which results in reduce supply of blood to the brain and even to the heart.

Though, there are not much cases of neuro damages exclusively caused due to smoking, there is evidence of multiple factors resulting in the brain attacks, he opines.

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