Beyond the Obvious: Smoking and Respiratory Infection Implications on Alzheimer's Disease

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2020;19(9):698-708. doi: 10.2174/1871527319999200817112427.


Tobacco smoke is not only a leading cause for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disorders, and lung and oral cancers, but also causes neurological disorders such as Alzheimer 's disease. Tobacco smoke consists of more than 4500 toxic chemicals, which form free radicals and can cross blood-brain barrier resulting in oxidative stress, an extracellular amyloid plaque from the aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ) peptide deposition in the brain. Further, respiratory infections such as Chlamydia pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus have also been involved in the induction and development of the disease. The necessary information collated on this review has been gathered from various literature published from 1995 to 2019. The review article sheds light on the role of smoking and respiratory infections in causing oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, resulting in Alzheimer's disease (AD). This review will be of interest to scientists and researchers from biological and medical science disciplines, including microbiology, pharmaceutical sciences and the translational researchers, etc. The increasing understanding of the relationship between chronic lung disease and neurological disease is two-fold. First, this would help to identify the risk factors and possible therapeutic interventions to reduce the development and progression of both diseases. Second, this would help to reduce the probable risk of development of AD in the population prone to chronic lung diseases.

Keywords: (Aβ) peptide deposition; Alzheimer’s disease; Pulmonary infections; Smoking; infection; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurotoxins
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plaque, Amyloid
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*


  • APP protein, human
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Neurotoxins