Nav: Home

Health: Daily smoking and drinking may be associated with advanced brain age

January 30, 2020

Daily drinking and smoking may be associated with modest increases in relative brain age compared to those who drink and smoke less, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

Research has shown that certain lifestyle habits, such as heavy smoking and alcohol consumption, are associated with adverse effects in specific brain regions. However, it is unclear how smoking and alcohol consumption may be associated with brain age, especially when the whole brain is considered.

Arthur W. Toga and colleagues used machine learning methods and MRI to identify relative brain age in 17,308 individuals aged 45 to 81 years whose data was included in the UK Biobank. Relative brain age is an individual's brain age based on MRI measurements, compared to the average brain age of their peers.

The authors found that in 11,651 individuals for whom information on smoking habits was collected, those who smoked on most or all days had a higher relative brain age than those who smoked less frequently or not at all. Each additional pack-year of smoking was associated with 0.03 years of increased relative brain age. A pack-year was defined as smoking a pack of cigarettes per day on average for a whole year. In 11,600 individuals for whom information on drinking behavior was collected, those who drank alcohol on most days had a higher relative brain age than those who drank less frequently or not at all. Each additional gram of alcohol consumption per day was associated with 0.02 years of increased relative brain age. The findings suggest that detrimental effects of smoking and drinking on brain age may occur mainly in those who smoke and drink at high frequencies and with modest increases in brain age.

The authors caution that besides smoking and alcohol consumption, various other environmental and genetic factors may be associated with brain age. Studies in larger samples are needed to further clarify these associations.
-end-
Article and author details

1. Association of relative brain age with tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, and genetic variants

Corresponding authors:

Arthur W. Toga
USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tel: +1 323 442 7246
Email: toga@loni.usc.edu

DOI

10.1038/s41598-019-56089-4

Online paper*

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56089-4

* Please link to the article in online versions of your report (the URL will go live after the embargo ends)

Scientific Reports

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.