In a recent post we cited studies showing that teenagers, because of the particular circuitry of their still-developing brains, are more susceptible to cocaine addiction than previously believed.
Now a new study suggests yet another danger of cocaine use: premature aging. According to scientists at the University of Cambridge, cocaine use may be responsible for speeding up the brain’s natural aging process and reducing cognitive functioning.
Although we all lose gray matter as we age, it appears that chronic cocaine users lose it at a significantly faster rate, resulting in premature loss of attention, memory, self-regulation and decision-making abilities. For a teenage user, these abilities may never fully develop at all.
The list of health consequences related to repeated cocaine use already includes heart attacks, respiratory failures, strokes, seizures and more. Researchers stress the need to educate teenagers on these as well as on the latest findings regarding premature aging and the attendant loss of cognitive abilities. Read the complete article here.