Friday, January 04, 2008

Teen smoking impacts concentration

As per an article published in the ‘New Scientist’ titled as ‘Teenage smokers risk badly wired brains’ quotes a study of Leslie Jacobsen of Yale University School of Medicine and colleagues who had used diffusion tensor imaging, which measures how water diffuses through brain tissue, to study the affect of smoking in teens. The study reveals that the development of the brain could be affected due to smoking in teenage. Researchers found that young smokers, particularly boys, are more likely to suffer from hearing disorders. Brain is particularly vulnerable to the effects of tobacco during adolescence, the time when it rapidly matures. Some young smokers suffer from hearing problems and also find it hard to concentrate in their classes. The teens studied were a group of young students aged between 14 and 19. The changes, found in the regions responsible for relaying signals to the ear, were greatest in the smokers, suggesting the brain is at heightened risk while maturing during adolescence.

Study also points out that teenager who smoke, or whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, are also more likely to suffer from auditory attention deficits, meaning they find it harder to concentrate on what is being said when other things are happening at the same time. It may be pertinent to mention here that Smoking and chewing tobacco contribute to some 800,000 deaths in India every year.

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