Smoking causes brain shrinkage, but quitting may prevent further loss

December 21, 2023 by medicalnewstoday.com

Smoking causes brain shrinkage, but quitting may prevent further loss

Cigarette smoking causes the brain to shrink, according to a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO (WashUMed). Brain shrinkage is also associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study’s results show that quitting smoking at any time stopped further gray matter loss. However, the brain does not recover its original mass once shrinkage occurs. It has long been known that smoking is harmful to the lungs and heart, though not as much research has been dedicated to its effect on the brain.


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