Reduced Grey Matter in Specific Brain Areas Linked to Teenage Smoking and Nicotine Addiction

By UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: Complete Post through this link…

ngd-This doesn’t mean that smoking causes the reduction in gray matter; it could well be that smoking improves teen focus enough to make it worth the addiction; Still…

Researchers find a link between reduced grey matter in specific brain areas and the inclination to start smoking during adolescence, potentially escalating nicotine addiction.

A recent study has revealed that the levels of grey matter in two areas of the brain might be associated with an inclination to start smoking during adolescence and the strengthening of nicotine addiction.Conducted by researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Warwick in the UK and Fudan University in China, the scientists analyzed brain imaging and behavioral data from over 800 youths aged 14, 19, and 23. Results showed that teenagers who began smoking by the age of 14 had notably reduced grey matter in a part of the left frontal lobe associated with decision-making and rule-breaking. 

Grey Matter and Its Implications

Grey matter is the brain tissue that processes information, and contains all of the organ’s neurons. Its growth peaks before adolescence, even though brain development persists into adulthood.Researchers suggest that a diminished volume of grey matter in the left side of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex could serve as an “inheritable biomarker” for nicotine dependence, offering insights for prevention and treatment.

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