A new study has found that cocaine addiction can make the brain "age" faster. The study adds to the many harms already associated with cocaine use disorder.

The study, published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, analyzed the post-mortem human brain tissues of people who had a cocaine addiction and those who didn’t.

It was found people with cocaine use disorder accumulated changes in the DNA in the brain associated with biological aging at an accelerated rate.

According to an estimate, one in five people who use cocaine goes on to develop an addiction in the U.S.

There are non-coding modifications in the DNA within the brain's cells, which affect the mechanism of switching on and off genes. Called epigenetic changes, these patterns were analyzed in the study by the researchers in a brain region called Brodmann Area 9, ScienceAlert reported.

Brodmann Area 9 (BA9) is situated in the prefrontal cortex, and is part of the brain behind the forehead. BA9 is believed to regulate self-awareness and inhibitory control- both things affected by substance use disorders.

In the study, researchers compared the levels of DNA methylation in brain tissue samples of 21 people each from those who had cocaine use disorder and those who didn't. DNA methylation is chemical changes that accumulate with age and in age-related diseases.

In the BA9 region, cocaine users had segments of DNA filled with methyl groups, the study found.

"We detected a trend towards stronger biological aging of the brain in individuals with cocaine use disorder compared to individuals without cocaine use disorder," Stephanie Witt, senior author of the study and molecular biologist at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany, said. "This could be caused by cocaine-related disease processes in the brain, such as inflammation or cell death," Witt added.

The two genes that exhibited the most changes in DNA methylation in this study were the ones that according to previous research regulate behavioral aspects of cocaine intake in rodents, as per the outlet.

"As biological age estimation is a very recent concept in addiction research and is influenced by many factors, further studies are required to investigate this phenomenon, with larger sample sizes than were possible here," Witt admitted.

Another substance starting with the letter C has quite the opposite effect on the brain. A recent literature review study found cinnamon’s eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamic acid components positively alter cognitive function. Some of the studies also reported that the spice’s components prevented and reduced cognitive function impairment.

Moreover, there is scientific evidence that cinnamon also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, according to Medical Xpress.