I was reading some research papers about BBB and neurovascular issues, and this paragraph really stuck out to me:
"In addition to hypoxic/ischemic and inflammatory insults, the BBB can also be compromised by drugs of abuse. For example, cocaine can accelerate the progression of HIV-associated dementia (Nath et al., 2001), a process that may involve both direct effects of cocaine on the endothelium as well as proinflammatory effects (Fiala et al., 1998; Zhang et al., 1998; Gan et al., 1999). Nicotine, a potently vasoactive drug (Hawkins et al., 2002), alters the transport of glucose (Duelli et al., 1998a,b) and ions (Wang et al., 1994; Abbruscato et al., 2004) at the BBB. Nicotine also decreases the expression and marginal localization of ZO-1, which is associated with increased permeability in the in vitro BBB (Abbruscato et al., 2002). In the rat, nicotine treatment also alters cerebral microvascular distribution of ZO-1, diminishes immunoreactivity for claudin-3, and increases BBB permeability to sucrose (Hawkins et al., 2004)."
I wonder how many NEVER smoked, but still have MS? I am starting to really feel like my history as a smoker has lead directly to my illness. I know there is more to it, such as genetics, diet, environmental toxins, possible vein abnormalities since birth, etc. But I do wonder what role my smoking has really played. Just curious as to how prevalent smoking has been in those of us with MS diagnoses.
Don't worry, I have never smoked and I still have MS, Churchill was smoking cigar big time and he lived long in good health. Oh, and I almost forgot, I have never tried cocaine either.