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Effect of Smoking on Cognitive Functioning in Young Saudi Adults

Shahid Bashir, Faisal Alghamd, Ahmed Alhussien, Meshal Alohali, Abdullah Alatawi, Tariq Almusned, Syed Shahid Habib

(Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2017; 23:31-35

DOI: 10.12659/MSMBR.902385


BACKGROUND: Smoking is the predominant form of tobacco consumption and is growing worldwide, particularly in the younger generation in the Middle-East. We aimed to determine the effects of tobacco smoking on cognitive functions among young Saudi adults.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We recruited a group of cigarette smokers (N=22) and a group of controls (non-smokers) (N=30) from apparently healthy male volunteers aged 18–29 years. Cognitive function was assessed by using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Automated Battery (CANTAB). The cognitive functions outcome variables were the response time (attention-switching task [AST]), and the percentage of correct response (pattern recognition memory [PRM] task). Clinical, demographic, blood markers (brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and apolipoprotein E) were assessed between groups.
RESULTS: The 2 groups were matched for age and educational status. In comparison to the control group, smokers showed significant cognitive impairments in AST-Latency (p=0.001), AST-Congruent (p=0.001), and AST-Incongruent condition (p=0.001). There was not significant difference in BDNF APOE serum level between the 2 groups.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that attention and alertness were significantly impaired in smokers compared to non-smokers.

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