Smoking might cause brain changes in schizophrenia


Several but not all MRI studies have reported volume reductions in the hippocampus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in patients with schizophrenia. Given the high prevalence of smoking among schizophrenia patients and the fact that smoking has also been associated with alterations in brain morphology, this study evaluated whether a proportion of the known gray matter reductions in key brain regions may be attributed to smoking rather than to schizophrenia alone.

We examined structural MRI data of 112 schizophrenia patients (53 smokers and 59 non-smokers) and 77 healthy non-smoker controls collected by the MCIC study of schizophrenia. An automated atlas based probabilistic method was used to generate volumetric measures of the hippocampus and DLPFC. The two patient groups were matched with respect to demographic and clinical variables.

Smoker schizophrenia patients showed significantly lower hippocampal and DLPFC volumes than non-smoker schizophrenia patients. Gray matter volume reductions associated with smoking status ranged between 2.2% and 2.8%. Furthermore, we found significant volume differences between smoker patients and healthy controls in the hippocampus and DLPFC, but not between non-smoker patients and healthy controls.


Interesting article. I used to smoke, but not anymore. Don’t have the desire and probably couldn’t afford it.

A shrinking brain is of concern…would be interesting to know what exactly are the consequences of a 2.3 to 2.8% shrink in gray matter…

Yes interesting. I wonder about the cause of less gray matter. Whether it’s schizophrenia itself or some other cause.

Whats more interesting is the lack of oxygen. You’re just talking about smoking because its a fad to… but the real issue is the deprivation of oxygen. Which isn’t endemic to smoking… but a global quandary. Whenever any environment is saturated by any oxygen depriving agent… co2… methane… tobacco… etc etc… the hippo campus recedes and fear takes over. People become more afraid… and of little things.

If you want to use me as the crux of your argument, get in line… Global warming makes people afraid. It makes the world mentally unstable. I smoke because I’m a martyr…

If I remember correctly, I think I read that schizophrenia and too much gray matter was positively correlated. Im a little confused as to what this means, I think I will go check my books. I smoke 12 cigarettes a day.