A new study that evaluated approximately 21,000 baby boomers has found that smoking can be responsible for a number of serious mental conditions in older age, including Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, according to The Archives of Internal Medicine.
Specifically, smoking more than two packs every day can increase the chance of developing Alzheimer's by 157 percent and vascular dementia by 172 percent. Even those who smoked far less were found to be at a greater risk – a half-pack to one a day was linked to a 37 percent higher risk of dementia. Smokers who went through one or two packs a day had a 44 percent increased chance.
''The authors of the study speculated that smoking may cause dementia by damaging blood vessels and brain cells or increasing inflammation,'' neuroscience researcher Mark Underwood told the news provider.
Memory loss can be a frustrating and disabling problem for many older adults. Those who have difficulty remembering everyday tasks may want to invest in a medical alert system, which can be programmed to dispense pills at certain times and also send a medical alert to doctors if there is a problem with medication.