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The Effects of Tobacco Smoke and Nicotine on Cognition and the Brain

Overview of attention for article published in Neuropsychology Review, August 2007
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#9 of 280)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (85th percentile)

Mentioned by

5 news outlets
4 policy sources
3 tweeters
1 Wikipedia page


250 Dimensions

Readers on

254 Mendeley
The Effects of Tobacco Smoke and Nicotine on Cognition and the Brain
Published in
Neuropsychology Review, August 2007
DOI 10.1007/s11065-007-9035-9
Pubmed ID

Gary E. Swan, Christina N. Lessov-Schlaggar


Tobacco smoke consists of thousands of compounds including nicotine. Many constituents have known toxicity to the brain, cardiovascular, and pulmonary systems. Nicotine, on the other hand, by virtue of its short-term actions on the cholinergic system, has positive effects on certain cognitive domains including working memory and executive function and may be, under certain conditions, neuroprotective. In this paper, we review recent literature, laboratory and epidemiologic, that describes the components of mainstream and sidestream tobacco smoke, including heavy metals and their toxicity, the effect of medicinal nicotine on the brain, and studies of the relationship between smoking and (1) preclinical brain changes including silent brain infarcts; white matter hyperintensities, and atrophy; (2) single measures of cognition; (3) cognitive decline over repeated measures; and (4) dementia. In most studies, exposure to smoke is associated with increased risk for negative preclinical and cognitive outcomes in younger people as well as in older adults. Potential mechanisms for smoke's harmful effects include oxidative stress, inflammation, and atherosclerotic processes. Recent evidence implicates medicinal nicotine as potentially harmful to both neurodevelopment in children and to catalyzing processes underlying neuropathology in Alzheimer's Disease. The reviewed evidence suggests caution with the use of medicinal nicotine in pregnant mothers and older adults at risk for certain neurological disease. Directions for future research in this area include the assessment of comorbidities (alcohol consumption, depression) that could confound the association between smoking and neurocognitive outcomes, the use of more specific measures of smoking behavior and cognition, the use of biomarkers to index exposure to smoke, and the assessment of cognition-related genotypes to better understand the role of interactions between smoking/nicotine and variation in genotype in determining susceptibility to the neurotoxic effects of smoking and the putative beneficial effects of medicinal nicotine.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 254 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 4 2%
United Kingdom 2 <1%
France 1 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
Chile 1 <1%
India 1 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
Other 2 <1%
Unknown 239 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 58 23%
Student > Bachelor 42 17%
Student > Master 40 16%
Researcher 31 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 26 10%
Other 57 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 74 29%
Medicine and Dentistry 59 23%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 27 11%
Unspecified 26 10%
Neuroscience 25 10%
Other 43 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 61. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 December 2018.
All research outputs
of 13,092,437 outputs
Outputs from Neuropsychology Review
of 280 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 275,446 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Neuropsychology Review
of 7 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,092,437 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 280 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 275,446 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 7 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them