A Pack a Day: Prenuvo's AI Study into Smoking and Long-Term Brain Health

August 15, 2023

By Sam Hashemi, Head of Artificial Intelligence at PrenuvoPaper Collaborators: Somayeh Meysami, Cyrus Raji, Sam Hashemi, Saurabh Garg, Nasrin Akbari, Thanh Duc Nguyen, Ahmed Gouda, Yosef Gavriel Chodakiewitz, Rajpaul Attariwala

Prenuvo’s whole-body screenings provide us with a unique lens into relationships among various organs that no one else can see. In an era where healthcare operates in silos, having comprehensive data about a person’s entire body enables us to unlock remarkable discoveries through correlation. Our AI-assisted research allowed us to complete a study examining the impact of smoking on brain health.

The Connection Between Smoking and Brain Health
While previous research has shed light on this topic, our approach to further investigate the effects of smoking on the brain investigates these effects in participants without existing diagnoses. Our findings, presented at the American Academy of Neurology 2023, offer valuable insights that may help inform preventive measures. Read on to gain a clearer understanding of the impact of smoking and its long-term effects on our brain health.

10,134 healthy participants across North America who underwent MRI scans using a 1.5T MR imaging protocol. Whole-body and brain sequences were acquired, including T1 MPRAGE and 2D FLAIR sequences. A deep learning model was trained on a subset of 102 participants ages 27-66, segmented 96 brain volumes.

Participants with a history of smoking exhibited lower normalized gray and white matter volumes compared to non-smokers. This difference was found to be statistically significant (t = 7.90, p = 3.08e-15). The results suggest that smoking is associated with brain volume loss, indicating a potential link between smoking and neurodegeneration.

Our findings indicate that individuals with a history of smoking have lower amounts of gray and white matter in their brains compared to non-smokers. This suggests that smoking is linked to a decrease in brain volume, which may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

The Role of Proactive Health
As the importance of proactive healthcare continues to gain recognition, our research reinforces the critical role we play in safeguarding our brain health. Understanding the harmful effects of smoking on brain structure empowers us to make informed decisions about our lifestyles and prioritize long-term well-being. By embracing preventive measures and being proactive in our health choices, we take meaningful steps towards preserving cognitive function and promoting overall brain health. Together, these discoveries underscore the value of comprehensive health data in uncovering important connections to prioritize our long-term well-being.

Read the complete published paper here.

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