Background: Cigarette smoking has been linked with both increased and decreased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). This is relevant for the US military because the prevalence of smoking in the military is approximately 11% higher than in civilians.
Methods: A systematic review of published studies on the association between smoking and increased risk for AD and preclinical and human literature on the relationships between smoking, nicotine exposure, and AD-related neuropathology was conducted. Original data from comparisons of smoking and never-smoking cognitively normal elders on in vivo amyloid imaging are also presented.
Results: Overall, literature indicates that former/active smoking is related to a significantly increased risk for AD. Cigarette smoke/smoking is associated with AD neuropathology in preclinical models and humans. Smoking-related cerebral oxidative stress is a potential mechanism promoting AD pathology and increased risk for AD.
Conclusions: A reduction in the incidence of smoking will likely reduce the future prevalence of AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid; Cigarette smoking; Military; Oxidative stress; Risk; Tau; Tobacco; U.S. Armed Services.
Copyright © 2014 The Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.