Study: Air pollution may be a significant cause of dementia 

A recent study conducted in the state of Georgia, USA, has pointed to a profound relationship between air pollution, particularly from sources associated with traffic, and the onset of dementia, even among individuals not genetically predisposed to this condition.

Published by the British newspaper “The Guardian,” the study found a significant association between exposure to fine particulate air pollution, known as PM2.5, and the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain, which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study shed light on the concerning impact of air pollution on neurological health, raising concerns among urban residents, especially those living near busy roads.

PM2.5 particles, with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns, are known for their ability to penetrate living tissues, including the brain, through the blood-brain barrier.

By examining brain tissue samples from 224 individuals, 90% of whom were diagnosed with various forms of dementia, researchers assessed levels of amyloid plaques and linked them to individuals’ exposure to PM2.5 pollution associated with traffic in the years preceding their deaths.

The study revealed an average PM2.5 exposure of 1.32 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) in the year prior to death and 1.35 µg/m3 in the three years preceding death.

The study’s lead author, Anke Hüls, explained, “We found that donors living in areas with high concentrations of traffic-related air pollution exposure, particularly exposure to PM2.5 particles, had higher levels of pathological neurodegenerative disease in their brains.”

The study also explored whether the presence of the ApoE4 gene variant, a significant genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, affected the relationship between air pollution and dementia. Surprisingly, the association between air pollution and the severity of Alzheimer’s disease was found to be strongest among individuals lacking the ApoE4 gene, suggesting that environmental factors such as air pollution may contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in those who do not have a genetic predisposition.

These results underscore the urgent need for strong interventions to mitigate air pollution and protect public health.

Furthermore, this study serves as a stark reminder of the multifaceted consequences of air pollution, extending beyond respiratory diseases and climate change to encompass severe neurological conditions.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Verified by MonsterInsights