Smoking clouds the brain after stroke

Strokecongress.ca:  October 2, 2012

Memory, thinking, decision-making affected by tobacco use

Calgary- – A study of stroke patients from Southern Ontario found those who smoke have more difficulty with problem-solving and decision-making than non-smokers.

The study, presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress, tested mental abilities of 76 patients, including 12 smokers, with an average age of 67.5 years, using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) tool. The MoCA exam tests patients with memory and problem solving questions and gives them a score out of 30.

Smokers had a median MoCA score two points lower than non-smokers — 22 out of 30 compared to 24 out of 30. Patients who had previously quit smoking achieved the same scores as lifetime non-smokers, says Gail MacKenzie, a clinical nurse specialist at Hamilton General Hospital. Read more