Smoking And Memories
Women who have smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day on a regular basis (at any time in their lives) scored lower than nonsmokers on tests of executive function — that is, “higher-order” brain functions like the ability to reason, plan and organize. The same pattern was not true of men. Why only women? Animal research suggests nicotine lowers blood estrogen levels and may inhibit the positive effects of the hormone on brain cells. 60% of the women in the study were 40-54, when menopause occurs. In theory, nicotine may exacerbate any brain-cell effects of fluctuating estrogen levels in women as they age.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. March, 2010
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