The University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) recently published a comparison of the results of tobacco-industry funded studies and independent research on the relationship between cigarettes and Alzheimer's disease.
The analysis, which is published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found that studies conducted by or indirectly funded by tobacco companies asserted that smoking might decrease a person's chance of developing the degenerative condition, while independent researchers usually came to the opposite conclusion.
Autonomous studies suggest that individuals who smoke are putting themselves at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
This could be viewed as good news in that those who do not smoke may be reducing their chances of developing the condition.
"We know that industry-sponsored research is more likely to reach conclusions favorable to the sponsor," said Dr Stanton A. Glantz, of the UCSF Department of Medicine and a study co-author.
Because Alzheimer's care triples healthcare costs for afflicted individuals, and the amount of Americans who are diagnosed with the disease is expected to increase steadily as the baby boomer population ages, scientists are working to find a treatment for the degenerative condition in order to benefit the overall health of the population and the national economy.