Smoking Increases Schizophrenia Risk

Posted: Jul 11 2015, 6:52am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 11 2015, 7:11am CDT , in Latest Science News


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Smoking Increases Schizophrenia Risk
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  • Smoking increases susceptibility to neurosis and schizophrenia.

After an analysis of collective studies, researchers have revelaed that smoking increases the risk of developing neurological disorders and can even fasten the rate of developing schizophrenia.

The rate of smokers in the world increases day by day alongside frequent drug use. A person could be a smoker for a while, a regular smoker or chain smoker and even when the dangers of smoking have been implied since its inception that a person could smoke, the rate of the activity does not cease.

Over the years smoking has been tied to asthma, tracheal inflictions and the cause of respiratory problems and lung cancer. The smokers often argue their cases by saying that the toll of the disease takes a lifetime to implement and by that time they are dying anyway. Moreover, half the people with lung cancer are not smoker and still they contract the disease.

That may all well be an argument for the discussion of being a smoker and it hazards. For now the researchers found out the relevance of smoking with relation to developing schizophrenia.

A psychological disorder and a neurological disease in medical terms, it is a deterioration of brain which impairs the perceptive abilities of the victim and a person is forced to live with a mild or severe form from it suffering from a range of neurological and psychological symptoms.

Published in the Lancet Psychiatry, a team at King's College London published their analysis of 61 separate studies which suggests that nicotine in cigarette smoke may be altering the brain.

James MacCabe, a psychosis expert who co-led the research at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, said that it's always hard to determine the direction of causality but their findings indicate that smoking should be taken seriously as a possible risk factor for developing psychosis.

He said that while there are other factors involved in developing the impairing disease, smoking can be counted as one of them. McCabe's team analyzed rates of smoking in people presenting with their first episode of psychosis and found that 57 per cent of these individuals were smokers.

It was also revealed that people smoke to help them cope with the stresses of symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, thought deterioration and psychosis itself. Most smokers have been recorded to have been smoking when they concur their first attack of psychosis. The argument is that if there is a higher rate of smoking before schizophrenia is diagnosed, then smoking is not simply a case of self-medication.

The team at King's looked at data involving 14,555 smokers and 273,162 non-smokers. It indicated; that 57% of people with psychosis were already smokers when they had their first psychotic episode. The other findings included that daily smokers were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as non-smokers and smokers developed schizophrenia a year earlier on average.

Dr James MacCabe, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's contributed the role of smoking in susceptibility of schizophrenia due to its effect on dopamine. A neurochemical that has been said to be released in excited states and causes hallucinations and psychotic symptoms. He admitted that it was very difficult to establish causation.

What the researchers are hoping is that what it really does is open the eyes of the people to the possibility that tobacco could be a causative agent in psychosis. Further hoping that it will then lead to other research and clinical trials that would help to provide firmer evidence.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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