Study shows Alzheimer's hits earlier in smokers, drinkers
Heavy smokers and drinkers develop Alzheimer's years before people who don't drink or smoke as much, a new report says.
The study, presented Wednesday at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Chicago, suggests heavy drinking and smoking might be accelerating damage to the brain, which could lead to Alzheimer's.
But the flip side of the study is a message of hope: People who cut back or stop habits such as excessive smoking or drinking might reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's at a younger age. Instead of struggling with forgetfulness at age 59, such people might delay symptoms until age 65 or 70, says researcher Ranjan Duara of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach