Research shows that the consumption of both tobacco and alcohol together can cause neural damage in brain regions.
The research was conducted by Alana Hansen, a researcher from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and her colleagues. The study was published in ACS Chemical Neurology on January 17, 2019.
In a study conducted on rats, it was found that tobacco and alcohol not only cause physical disorders in a person’s body but can also cause mental disorders. This is because the combined consumption of the two things increases the level of reactive oxygen species
There have been a number of studies on the individual effects of smoking and drinking alcohol on a person’s body. But this is one of the first and major studies considering the effects of both smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol together on a person’s body.
In this study, a few rats were treated with alcohol, a few with tobacco and a few with both twice a day for 28 days. The changes in brain conditions of these rats were compared to those of sober rats.
It was found that the level of reactive oxygen species in the hippocampus (a major component of the brains of humans) increased much more times in rats that were treated with both tobacco and alcohol as compared to those who were treated with only tobacco smoke.
It was also seen that combined use of alcohol and tobacco caused an increase in the level of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines in brain areas than those who were treated with either of the two.
Also, rats that were treated with both the substances showed lower levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the striatum and frontal cortex. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a growth factor that helps in the growth of neurons in a person’s brain.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, many people who consume tobacco are likely to consume alcohol also and those who consume alcohol are likely to consume tobacco also. Thus, it was highly important to study the combined effects of the two.