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Smokers with MS ‘show more brain atrophy’

Smoking is a habit which can worsen the effects of multiple sclerosis, it has been said.

People who have multiple sclerosis (MS) that have smoked for as little as six months during their lifetime have more destroyed brain tissue and brain atrophy than those who have never smoked, it has been discovered.

Robert Zivadinov, the lead author of the study who serves as the professor of neurology and director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, published his results in Neurology this week, noting how there is a greater loss of brain volume for people who enjoy cigarettes or cigars.

He said of the findings: “Cigarette smoking is one of the most compelling environmental risk factors linked to the development and worsening of MS.

“In addition to nicotine, cigarette smoke contains hundreds of potentially toxic components, including tar, carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.”

This week, Lawrence Steinman published results of a new study carried out by Stanford University School of Medicine, noting that cheap hypertension drug lisinopril could be used to treat MS in the brains of humans following the full reversal of symptoms in mice.

- Barchester