Spasticity and Smoking

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Spasticity and Smoking

Postby Taurus » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:40 pm

I am an MS patient with numbness and spastivity in my right arm. I am also an occasional smoker. One thing I noticed is that whenever I smoke, the spasticity in my arm shoots up. I know that smoking is a known vascular constrictor and quiting this bad habit is beneficial. Does this mean that spasticity has direct links with blood flow. Has anyone else observed the same in MS? :roll:
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Postby Lydia_S » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:26 am

Yes!!! We saw great difference the first time he quite...he told me that he could wake up much more easily and that he had greater strength, I could see that from the way he walked. But our smoky friend isn;t easy to drop so he started again...Now he has quite for about three months and smokes a cigar once in a while. I haven't seen the previous great results but i think it's really helpful.

Smoking makes me feel tired so I imagine what it must do to someone who already is dealing with fatigue. I also believe it has to do with the blood flow.
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Postby cheerleader » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:02 am

Hi Taurus-

Smoking is a known endothelial disrupter, it reduces nitric oxide distribution and lowers O2 levels in the blood, constricting blood vessels. Smoking is also linked to faster MS progression, although the mechanism has never been understood within the autoimmune paradigm of MS, since smoking lowers immune function.

And yes, spasticity and clonus can be related to hypoxia (low O2 levels in the blood), even temporarily....this happens in people exposed to high CO2 levels, high altitude or other temporary hypoxic situations.

This is from a new paper in the Journal of Inflammation regarding new research into smoking, MS and CCSVI-

Indeed, this field of investigation is expanding rapidly, further clarification of the possible association or dissociation between MS and CCSVI is likely forthcoming. Smoking is reported to be significantly associated with lower limb venous insufficiency. The mechanisms leading to harmful effects of tobacco on the venous system are still not elucidated.127 However, cigarette smoking is believed to be a major factor in hypoxia through carbon monoxide and NO fixation in hemoglobin.127,128 It has been hypothesized that the effect of hypoxia on the functional state of the endothelium can be the starting point of a cascade of events leading to disorganization of the vessel typical of venous pathologies such as varicose veins. Hypoxia activates the endothelial cells, resulting in the production of proinflammatory factors within the vessel wall, increased capillary permeability and local inflammatory changes.129 Endothelial basal lamina has been found thickened in heavy smokers and the thickening contained fibronectin.130 It has also been reported that heavy smokers have impaired release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor in response to bradykinin and calcium ionophore. This impairment may increase vasomotor tone and smooth muscle proliferation in veins.131 Even the implication of a developmental origin in venous anomalies seen in CCSVI132 does not exclude the possibility that smoking could contribute to the venous flow abnormalities. It can thus be speculated that smoking may be related to venous MS hypothesis through harmful effects of tobacco on the venous system and its hemodynamics.
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
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Postby gainsbourg » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:06 am

Nicotine is the world's most powerful natural insecticide. Would you like to live in a field where they sprayed insecticide 20 times a day?

Well, you don't need to if you smoke 20 cigarettes a are already putting insecticide into your lungs, arteries and brain all day long. Nicotine affects the neuromuscular system of insects causing them to go into convulsions and die.

For years it was thought that hypoxia/C02 was causing the arteries of smokers to clog up (especially the coronary arteries, which are very narrow to start with). There's no doubt hypoxia causes damage to the endothelium but a study in 2002 by Dr. Thomas Neunteufl from the University of Vienna in Austria, suggested the real culprit was nicotine:

Researchers administered 1 milligram of nicotine via a nasal spray or cigarette smoke to 16 healthy long-term smokers, and then used ultrasound to examine the endothelium after 20 minutes. Nicotine-containing nasal spray and cigarette smoke alike reduced blood flow inside the artery, the study found, with the cigarette smoke reducing blood flow only slightly more. ... eries.html

Ironically, nicotine spray is recommended to smokers to help them quit.

Smoking 5 cigarettes a day doubles the risk of breast cancer in women. This can hardly be due to tobacco tar in the lungs! I believe nicotine is the main reason smokers have increased risk of cancer all over the body - throat, oesophagus, stomach, lungs (surprisingly, only 20% of smoking deaths is caused by lung cancer), liver, reproductive organs... no wonder 1 in 4 smokers dies in middle age.

If Dr. Neunteufl's findings are correct, it is likely to be nicotine that causes the arteries in the brain to narrow in smokers. Nearly as many smokers die from strokes as lung cancer. Surely it is nicotine entering the womb that causes so many birth defects, still births and infant mortality when the mother smokes in pregnancy.

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Re: Spasticity and Smoking

Postby NHE » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:38 pm

Here's another good reason to quit. Cigarette smoke contains acrolein. It's also known as vinyl aldehyde. It's a small, highly reactive and toxic molecule which cross links DNA with covalent bonds. Recall that DNA chains are normally held together by the hydrogen bonding between the A-T and C-G base pairs. By having a covalent linkage which is much stronger, one would expect that acrolein would interfere with gene transcription and also DNA replication during cell division.

Some other "goodies" in cigarette smoke: benzene, nitrosamines and formaldehyde.

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:08 pm

Hi Taurus
yes I used to get a huge increase in spasticity and numbness, in my circulation to my limbs and in fatigue, immediately after smoking.
I finally gave up for good 6 years ago and I mean it when I say it was the best thing EVER to give up completely.
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Tecfidera, Cymbalta, Baclofen.
EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU, Magnesium, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle, Melatonin.
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