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  • I Knew it..I think I remember knowing it,0,2465353.story?coll=sfla-news-health

    Cigarettes, coffee may lower Parkinsons risk

    Despite study, researchers say dont light up

    People who smoke cigarettes and drink lots of coffee are less likely to get Parkinsons disease than their family members who dont indulge in caffeine and nicotine, a new seven-year study shows.

    But researchers are not suggesting that anyone start puffing away as a defense against developing the disease that causes tremors and progressive loss of nerve cell function in the part of the brain that controls muscle movement.

    "Certainly we wouldnt recommend that people start smoking to protect themselves," said William K. Scott, professor of medicine and a member of the Miami Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

    "But it tells us that theres something about smoking [that is protective]. In a way, its a pharmacological clue. And if youre waking up every morning and having a cup of coffee, its not bad if you have a risk of Parkinsons."

    The study, published today in the Archives of Neurology, one of the American Medical Associations journals, looked at the association between smoking, caffeine consumption and the use of common pain medications -- aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen -- because previous studies have suggested they all may help protect against Parkinsons.

    An estimated 500,000 to 1 million people in the United States have Parkinsons, first described in 1817 as "a shaking palsy" by British physician James Parkinson. Most people who develop the disease are over age 50.

    Because Parkinsons is known to have a genetic component, the researchers recruited 357 people with the disease and 317 of their family members in an attempt to discover whether genetic and environmental factors may combine to promote the illness.

    Both smoking and "increasing intensity of coffee drinking" seemed protective against the disease, but no protective link was seen between daily or frequent use of the pain medications classified as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

    The family members who developed Parkinsons were half as likely to report they had ever smoked as were their relatives who did not develop the disease, and were also less likely to drink large amounts of coffee, the research showed.

    Scott said both caffeine and smoking have an effect on the nervous system, although they may act on different biological pathways.

    "Thats a theory, but not one people have been able to pin down. We know they both have an effect on dopamine in the brain, and when people lose their ability to make dopamine, they develop the tremors," Scott said.

    "Given the complexity of Parkinsons disease [smoking and caffeine] likely do not exert their effects in isolation," the researchers concluded. Further research should explore their interaction with genes known to be associated with the disease, they said.

  • #2
    Re: I Knew it..I think I remember knowing it

    It must work. I drink coffee and smoke and I dont have Parkinsons disease at 62.
    Either that or Im wearing the right sort of jeans.


    • #3
      Re: I Knew it..I think I remember knowing it

      I always knew smoking wasnt that bad..