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Smoking boosts risk for Alzheimer's
October 25th, 2010
04:52 PM ET

Smoking boosts risk for Alzheimer's

Here's yet another reason to stop smoking: It elevates the risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, according to a new study.

An analysis of more than 20,000 men and women found a 157 percent heightened risk of Alzheimer's disease in people who had smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day. For vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia, these smokers had a 172 percent increased risk.

"Dementia is a disease that crops up in late life, and that becomes clinically apparent, but I think people really need to think about risk factors for it over the life course," said Rachel Whitmer, study co-author and research scientist with Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

The study, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers say the association between smoking and various forms of dementia is strong, but they do not know exactly why. It has been shown before that people who smoke are more likely to have hypertension and cerebral vascular disease, as well as inflammation, Whitmer said. Smoking may contribute to the damage of brain blood vessels in addition to brain cells, she said.

The data came from Kaiser Permanente Northern California members surveyed between 1978 and 1985. At that time, they were between ages 50 and 60. Diagnoses of various forms of dementia among these people were made from 1994 to 2008, and researchers took that information from electronic health records. The participants in this study were all alive and still members of the health plan in 1994.

Researchers found that associations with the development of the disease are more modest among smokers who use up fewer than two packs a day, but still significant. Those who smoked a half-pack to one pack a day had an overall 37 percent elevated risk of dementia, and those who smoked between one and two packs had a 44 percent heightened risk, compared to non-smokers.

But this could be an underestimation, because some smokers who would have developed dementia died before diagnosis, said Kenneth Hepburn, associate dean for research at the Emory University School of Nursing, who was not involved in the study.

The reported risk of dementia among heavy smokers is also likely an underestimation because many of those people will die before they're old enough to develop dementia, he said.

While the elevated risk for various forms of dementia was shown for those smoking two packs a day in midlife, smoking less than half a pack of cigarettes a day, or having smoked in the past, did not appear to raise the risk compared with nonsmokers.

Hepburn found the study compelling, and noted that it incorporated an ethnically diverse population of both men and women.

"This gives great confidence in saying this kind of heavy smoking has some kind of association – and it looks like a fairly strong association – with the development of the disease," he said.

One limitation of the study is that researchers collected data only about smoking habits among middle-aged people; it did not look at what happened among those who had quit after the initial survey, Whitmer said.

The research speaks to what the Alzheimer's Association Maintain Your Brain campaign is promoting: that brain health has a lot to do with overall health, Hepburn said.

"The brain is part of the body, it’s part of the whole and if you assault parts, it’s going to have an impact on the whole," he said.


soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Margo Zargo

    Everyone in Europe and Latin America smokes, and they're not all dead and dying like all the smokers in the US, unless you mean Pot and that's just fine and dandy with Americans.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NB

      Might be the dumbest thing I've ever read.

      October 25, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Yep, thats one of the dumbest things ever said. Some one needs to learn science or maybe just logic.

      October 25, 2010 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
    • Vanilla Gorilla

      Margo you are the classic definition of an idiot. please go back to your dish and sit down and leave the important things to adults.

      October 25, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudent

      #1 dumbest comment I've read this week, congrats!

      October 25, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
    • LN

      Research shows that US cigarettes have a higher percentage of toxins than European ones... American cigarette companies have to manufacture their product differently in order to export them in the EU. I'm just saying it's a probable deduction... The pot comment doesn't make sense though. I mean, really?

      October 26, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
  2. Rethink

    Anyone who smokes has dementia already.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blondegeisha

      agreed

      October 25, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
  3. Ken

    Whatev – not even a year ago, a study came out suggesting that smoking reduces the risk of dementia, which I believe I read about on this same website.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GoRemote

      Yep, I remember that as well.......

      October 25, 2010 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      I remember it too. What gives???

      October 25, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1855016?dopt=abstractplus

      October 25, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudent

      the other study was done in the netherlands. there could be some other confounding factors in either study.

      Smoking is still one of, if not THE worst thing you could do to your body. That being said, one study either way isn't enough to say anything.

      However it should be noted the sample size in this study was greater than the first study. They also studied VASCULAR dementia which has different etiologies from Alzheimers. All of the variables need to be analyzed when comparing the two. I think in general larger scale studies need to be conducted, and in different countries to rule out confounding variables.

      October 25, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • rothenbj

      The study you are referring to (and there has been more recent study on the subject) was about the effects of nicotine on alzheimers, not smoking. There is a big difference between the two. Smoking adds all the additional chemicals that combustion adds to the mix.

      The two studies may both be accurate.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
    • aaron

      Yep, I remember, too. I'm sending CNN the bill for all those cigarettes I used as prevention.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • Narc

      Smoking does not prevent dementia, nicotine does.

      March 26, 2013 at 05:51 | Report abuse |
  4. ledzeper

    Still, the majority of dementia sufferers.. never smoked.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lioness

      Agreed. It's not as if dementia suddenly appeared along with "Big Tobacco." I think it's a combination of things, including genetics, prion diseases, other diseases that affect blood flow to the brain, toxins and chemicals, and luck.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:32 | Report abuse |
    • gene

      By the time many get to the age when dementia/alzheimer's becomes a serious risk, many smokers have already departed due to cancer, heart disease, COPD, etc.

      Most science supports a correlation between smoking and Alz/dementia. The cause hasn't been definitively determined, but certainly when you decrease the blood supply through plaque in the brain's blood vessels, and when you decrease the supply of acetylcholine–well, it can't be good.

      October 6, 2012 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
  5. David Fisher

    Dr Gupta, why does CNN link to tweets from Twitter, but you don't link to a published paper or data here? Claims like this are completely useless without peer reviewed papers behind them.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Truth

    Of course, you have to be a little short-witted and weak-willed to smoke in the first place. Nothing sadder than the day you have to take the last cigarette out of grandpa's slavering mouth, so he can be hooked up permanently to an oxygen cannula to live out his last days gasping for breath. Good times, so suave and debonair.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. K Van Dijk

    "Dementia is a disease that crops up in late life, (...)" said Rachel Whitmer, study co-author and research scientist with Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

    For the record: Dementia is not a disease but dementia is a syndrome. A syndrome in turn is an association of several clinically recognizable features or symptoms. There are several diseases that cause the dementia syndrome. One of them, and the most prevalent, is Alzheimer's disease (AD). So AD causes dementia.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mike

    I wish these researchers wouldn't overstate their case by coming up with BS statistics like this. 100% increased risk is CERTAINTY that you will get the disease. What exactly are 157% and 172% increase in risk???? That you are more than certain to get the disease???? How exactly does that happen?

    October 25, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Mike,
      What it means is that, if there is a 157% chance, then the likelihood is 1.57, or an increase of one and a half times.

      October 25, 2010 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
    • harleyrider1978

      Since 1981 there have been 148 reported studies on ETS, involving spouses, children and workplace exposure. 124 of these studies showed no significant causal relationship between second hand smoke and lung cancer. Of the 24 which showed some risk, only two had a Relative Risk Factor over 3.0 and none higher. What does this mean. To put it in perspective, Robert Temple, director of drug evaluation at the Food and Drug Administration said "My basic rule is if the relative risk isn't at least 3 or 4, forget it." The National Cancer Institute states "Relative risks of less than 2 are considered small and are usually difficult to interpret. Such increases may be due to mere chance, statistical bias, or the effect of confounding factors that are sometimes not evident." Dr. Kabat, IAQC epidemiologist states "An association is generally considered weak if the relative risk is under 3.0 and particularly when it is under 2.0, as is the case in the relationship of ETS and lung cancer. Therefore, you can see any concern of second hand smoke causing lung cancer is highly questionable." Note that the Relative Risk (RR) of lung cancer for persons drinking whole milk is 2.14 and all cancers from chlorinated water ranked at 1.25. These are higher risks than the average ETS risk. If we believe second hand smoke to be a danger for lung cancer then we should also never drink milk or chlorinated water.

      October 25, 2010 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    BTW, I do know how they hatch the numbers, but it's using statistics for alarmist purposes to present the results this way... I am sure the researchers gave it "110%" while they were working on this study....

    October 25, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rothenbj

      Mike, it's relative risk they are talking about. I'm familiar with a study of Swedish snus and pancreatic cancer done in Sweden. They established the risk of a never smoker getting pancreatic cancer at 4 per 100,000 people. They established the risk of Pancreatic cancer among snus users at about 8 per 100,000.

      The relative risk is 2.0 or you have twice as much chance of getting pancreatic cancer as a snus user as a never smoker. As you can see, either category is a rather slim chance considering either way 99,992/100k of the populations won't get the disease. Everything you do in life has a relative risk factor and at the end they all lead to the same result.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
  10. Samain

    My grandmother and uncle both have Alzheimer. Both never smoked or drank a day of their lives, so try again. This is probably just based on statistics, which doesn't prove a thing other than some smokers have Alzheimer too.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SMAN Cometh

      Hereditary...?

      October 25, 2010 at 20:40 | Report abuse |
    • Samain

      Genetic predisposition is what one of the leading researchers has told our family. My uncles Alzheimer has progressed much faster than my grandmothers. In two years time he went from the early symptoms of Alzheimer to being Late Stage and bed ridden. He and his wife had retired a year before this started. Two weeks after retirement she died of cancer, and by the end of that first year his Alzheimer's had progressed to where he was unable to take care of himself. My grandmothers has progressed much slower, it started with her not remembering names and losing household items to where she is today, where she doesn't recognize family, and only has memories of long past. However she does have moments of clarity, where she knows what going on and who people are, her good days... She means a lot to me, and was like a mother to me... Makes me very sad that her, and my uncle are stricken with this terrible disease.

      October 26, 2010 at 03:09 | Report abuse |
    • gene

      No, what doesn't prove a thing is what you're saying, which is known in science as "anecdotal evidence." You're claiming, "I caught polio and wasn't crippled; therefore, polio doesn't cripple. Must be something else." It's a common tobacco industry ploy. And so very scientifical! For the partisan or befuddled.

      October 6, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
  11. PenguinMan

    Smoking anything cuts oxygen to the brain. Carbon Monoxide hijacks red blood cells, making them incapable of delivering Oxygen. In heavy smokers up to 10% of red blood cells are useless. The brain uses more Oxygen than practically the rest of your body combined, so I thinks there might a correlation there.

    October 25, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. S Kyle

    Nicotine has been shown to be an effective destabilizer of the proteins involved in the construction of the plaques that form in the brain thus causing Alzheimer's Disease. The many, many other dangerous chemicals found in cigarette smoke may surely cause cancer, heart disease and lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer's, but to use a blanket statement saying cigarettes increase your risk when clearly the nicotine in tobacco reduces your risk is just poor reporting.

    October 25, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Iquit

    Interesting. In the 90's, researchers were saying that smoking "decreased" the risk for Alzheimer's.

    October 25, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. jimb302

    I just read the other day how 90% of all research is wrong or fabricated...just sayin'

    October 25, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mdyer

      I read that too.

      October 25, 2010 at 23:57 | Report abuse |
  15. fajita

    it's 2010, who smokes?

    October 25, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AGeek

      In NY, at > $10/pack, who can afford to?!

      October 25, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
  16. Lynn

    Not so from my family experience. My grandma smoked 2 packs a day for 50 yrs and lived to be 97. But grandpa died at 59 from a stroke and smoked Camels. Cigarettes are a disgusting addiction, but not the cause of every disease and death.

    October 25, 2010 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SMAN Cometh

      well, your N=2...not a very reliable sample size.

      October 25, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
  17. Mary

    I had a neighbor that smoked salmon. Isn't that interesting? What were we talking about?

    October 25, 2010 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Vaishwords

    I quit smoking after more than 20yrs and wrote a blog about how I finally willed myself to do it. I am not one of those born again non smokers who preaches but if reading it can help someone who is trying to quit then great, otherwise hopefully it will just be an enjoyable read…http://vaishwords.blogspot.com/2010/03/up-in-smoke.html

    October 25, 2010 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. MCC

    I have said this for YEARS!!! Everyone that I know, and knew, that had Alzheimer's was also a smoker. I KNEW there was a connection!!! Thsi needs to be a headline, not buried towards the bottom of the page. The tobacco lobby is just too powerful.

    October 25, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. harleyrider1978

    Todays the first day run of this junk study from tobacco control............be ready it will be across the nation and overseas being played up like the gospel of jesus by wednsday...........Dr.gupta shoulda took the SG job when offered,this study he is pushing here is the same JUNK SCIENCE as the EPA report on second hand smoke and the same as the SG REPORT OF 2006.....................JUNK SCIENCE AND PROPAGANDA.Dr Gupta is pushing fraud off as fact..........time he should resign from any more mediciene and take up being a progressive reporter for obama......wait thats what he has been doing all along!!!

    October 25, 2010 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. harleyrider1978

    They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’
    World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France ...

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor ... but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor's note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It's everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Le Parisien

    October 25, 2010 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gene

      I like this Philippe Even screed, posted without permission of Le Figaro.

      Can anyone cite a single study this Philipe Even has authored that has anything to do with secondhand smoke? Of course not. Just another French smoking administrator.

      And I especially love this part:

      "Why not speak up earlier?

      "As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man."

      Translation: "I was too much of a lying coward to tell the truth then, but I'm telling the truth now. Honest. Believe me."

      Sure I do. Just like I believe full-time spammers like the KY tobacco farmer harley.

      Google him for 10,000+ posts.

      October 6, 2012 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
  22. becca

    Another reason to drop the smoking habit.

    October 25, 2010 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Meepzorp

    Cool, I will be demented like our fearless leaders in Washington already are and so I will also not be responsible for any of my stupid actions either. They must all smoke (or smoking something) since they are obviously demented. Now it's all clear to me but I'm sure with my future dementia I will forget I even wrote this. Maybe I'm demented already for pointing out their obvious dementia before I am supposed to be demented. In a nutshell I really don't give a crap and will continue smoking since I will never be as demented as Washington bureaucrats are. That would be quite impossible and besides I am sure they will take care of me when I do become demented (yah right).

    October 25, 2010 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Johnny Mnemonic

    ...and appearance of a firetrack increases the chance of fire in a neighborhood.
    According to all studies.

    October 25, 2010 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. PTcruzer

    It seems like these studies are constantly flip flopping, or at least one interesting study comes out like, Smoking lowers risks of Parkinson's. The anti-smoking people can't stand something good coming out of smoking. Before you ask, yes there is a source for the Parkinson's reference, it is http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/03/12/years-smoking-may-reduce-risk-of-parkinsons/12084.html this was only one from a list of several. I am in no way supporting smoking, I am just stating a counterpoint.

    October 25, 2010 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Constantine

    Not super groundbreaking – i think smoking causes everything

    October 25, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. T-bone

    Here is what a former tobacco company employee said to me (don't know his position) , but said : First , you go the store , you buy a pack of cigarettes , you loose your money..... You smoke the first one , you cough and think "this is cool " , then you continue smoking all the rest , coughing along the way . You buy the second pack , loose your money , then smoke all those cigarettes , coughing along the way . Then buy your third pack , loose your money , coughing along the way , but less coughing because you're burning out the protective hairs that keep out nasty stuff in your lungs . Now it get's easier , because you are addicted , you HAVE to have the cigarettes . You keep buying the cigarettes.........forever because you cannot stop . Cigarettes are designed that way , to keep you coming back . You have no hope but to keep smoking ....even though you are inhaling toxic , cancer causing garbage , but that doesn't matter , all that matters is do you have enough cig's to get you through the day . Smoking is the one thing you can do to your body that has no positive effects , and a multitude of negative effects . But you will do till the day you die .... defending it . You are the tobacco companies best employee !!!
    And you start to beleve you are the "ONE" smoker who will not die of cancer or other complications caused by smoking , by then it's too late. Look at Michael Douglas , too late . Please tell me how smoking is GOOD for you ?

    October 25, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Tony G

    I used to date a LPN who worked at a nursing home for dementia and Alzheimer ward.
    Less than 5% of the patients in her ward smoked.
    My father, had alzheimers before he died. NEVER smoked a day in his life.
    My mother, smoked for 50 + years, she had all her wits about her when she went.

    October 25, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DrVonBrain

      See my comment below. Dead people don't get dementia. Smokers die young.

      October 26, 2010 at 01:18 | Report abuse |
  29. Loopy Cootiebrain

    Does it include smoking weed from a vaporizer?

    October 25, 2010 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Andy

    Next time someone smokes near me i'm gonna slap the cig out of their face.

    – A

    October 26, 2010 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rothenbj

      Now that's the kind of attitude we're generating. The propaganda that has been spewed creates neurosis. The don'ts fear the do's and feel threatened by the sub-humans that endanger their lives. To protect themselves they first complain about the actions of the do's, then protest, then act out.

      You knock that cigarette out of that smokers mouth. You may even get away with it the first or second time, but what happens when the smoker fights back? However, you feel you're superior or smarter than the smoker so you make sure that you only perform your action on people you know you can overpower. Then comes the knife or gun.

      You fill in the rest of the story.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Clearly, all smokers are terrible, stupid people, out to hurt everyone around them. Nevermind the fact that there is no conclusive evidence showing there is even a link between second-hand smoke and cancer.

      But hey, better safe than sorry right? I'm sure that whiff of smoke you get while walking by someone smoking a cigarrette will cause you and your children to die horribly of cancer some day.

      You're probably already doomed.

      October 26, 2010 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
  31. DrVonBrain

    An old study came to the conclusion that smoking decreases the risk of dementia...because a lot of people with dementia were non-smokers. The study was eventually discounted as someone came to this astounding revelation: "Smokers die young. Dead people don't get dementia"

    October 26, 2010 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Bob Inalong

    They banned smoking outside in parks and on beaches in New York a couple of weeks ago because of second hand smoke. Meanwhile, every restaurant and kabob cart in town is belching out clouds of burning meat smoke, which is five times more carcinogenic than cigarette smoke. People really need to get a grip.

    October 26, 2010 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. NYYFan1

    Next Week's Headline – Smoking Linked to Impotency in Men...(LMAO...{:o)

    October 26, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Justin

    Don't forget about 3rd-hand smoke too! Being within 50 miles of a smoker gives you a 350,000% greater chance of dying some day.

    October 26, 2010 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. harleyrider1978

    Why are drug trials in Alzheimer's disease failing?
    Original Text
    A David Smith aYou suggest several reasons why trials in Alzheimer's disease are failing (Aug 28, p 658),1 but you do not consider an obvious one: that the hypothesis on which most Alzheimer's trials are based might not be valid.
    If a scientist does several experiments on the basis of a hypothesis and they all fail, he will abandon the hypothesis. Why are we so reluctant to do this in medicine? The dominant hypothesis in the field is the amyloid hypothesis and almost all trials of potential disease-modifying drugs are based on manipulation of β amyloid. In the recently abandoned semagacestat trial,2 some patients on the drug got worse—ie, the drug, which was designed to inhibit formation of β amyloid, seemed to speed up cognitive decline. One interpretation is that the formation of β amyloid might be the brain's protective mechanism against the disease process. But this view is regarded as pure heresy. Is that because so much research funding and such large drug development budgets are at stake?
    The review by Mangialasche and colleagues3 concluded that “the one protein, one drug, one disease hypothesis used as a basis of most Alzheimer's disease therapy studies needs to be revised.” It is time that we stopped looking for a “cure” but directed our research effort to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. This complex disease will yield not to a single drug but to multiple approaches to modify the disease process, starting in mid-life. Two examples of hopeful avenues are the treatment of hypertension in mid-life4 and the lowering of homocysteine early in the disease process.5
    I declare that I have no conflicts of interest.

    http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)61994-0/fulltext

    November 1, 2010 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. david B

    please go to my website protesting tobacco at http://www.tobaccotruth.weebly.com and join my cause

    November 9, 2010 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
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  39. Tyler Marshall

    I'm a Neuroscience major at Rhodes College, and I find it highly likely that smoking is directly correlated with Alzheimers. Although I have no empiricial evidence directly supporting this, but we do already know a few things. 1. Smoking causes the brain to produce less acetylcholine because nicotine is molecularly similar to AC which mimics AC in the synaptic cleft. 2. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that supports lots of of things including cognitive fuctioning, one being memory. I may be overgeneralizing this complex process, however I find it safe to think that there is a good possibility of there being a direct correlation between smoking and alzheimers.

    September 22, 2011 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.