In their study, researchers from King's College London found a “consistent association” between smoking and lower scores on mental skills tests in the 8 800 study participants who were all over age 50.
In addition, they found that high blood pressure and being overweight also have a harmful effect on the brain, but to a lesser degree than smoking, HealthDay News reported.
The findings show that people need to be aware that lifestyle habits could damage the brain as well as the body, said the researchers.
"Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and this study adds further weight to that evidence," said Dr Simon Ridley from Alzheimer's Research UK.
Source: HealthDay News