(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new study linked the potential appearance of dementia in older women with air pollutants as a constant, high inhalation of the tiny particles could affect their health.
Air pollution is becoming an increasingly bigger problem. Some of the world’s biggest cities are already confronting such issues. Authorities have started taking measures against the potential air pollutants.
The most common type of air pollution comes from human-related activities. More exactly, from automobiles and power plants. Now, a new study went to show another potential effect on the human body.
Research on the matter was carried out by University of South California scientists. Study results were released earlier this week. They were published in the Translational Psychiatry journal. It became available since January 31.
The study specifically targeted older aged women. They concentrated on the effects of air pollutants on their health. Caleb Finch went to offer details. He is a USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Professor and study co-author.
Finch explained that the fossil fuel microscopic particles enter our body through the nose. And from there, they go to our brains. Brain cells perceive the air pollutants. And it classifies them as invaders. Therefore, they cause an inflammatory response.
Over the course of time, such responses could do more harm than good. They seem to exacerbate. And also favor the development of dementia and AD. AD or Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia.
Study researchers specifically targeted the PM 2.5. This is a fine particulate matter. It originates from automobile and power plants. These inhalable particles reach a maximum 2.5 micrometers in diameter. In comparison, a human hair has a diameter of about 70 micrometers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set an air standard quality standard limit. But this is sometimes exceeded. And older women living in such areas presented an even higher risk of developing dementia.
They had an 81 percent higher risk of suffering from a global cognitive decline. And they were also 92 percent more likely to develop dementia. The general population presented a 21 percent higher risk of suffering from the disease.
The study specifically analyzed data gathered from almost 3,700 women. They were aged in between 65 to 79 years old. At the start of the study, they did not suffer from dementia. The participants were spread throughout 48 states.
Potential bias factors were also taken into account. These may include the geographical region or ethnic background. Also their medical conditions and lifestyle. And these are just a few of the factors taken into consideration.
Research also pointed out another fact. Women that possessed the APOE4 gene had a stronger response to the air pollutants. The aforementioned gene is a genetic variation. It is known to increase the risks of developing Alzheimer’s.
One of the researchers also pointed out the following. He drew attention to the effects of the combination of air pollutants and the APOE4. This potential interaction could lead to an acceleration of the brain aging process.
This is the first study to directly link AD with air pollution. It also provides new evidence for previous studies. These showed that other air pollutants, such as tobacco, could be dangerous for the aging brain.
The scientists also tested their theory. They exposed mice to such air particles. The female mice also carried the APOE4 gene. They were exposed to air pollutant particles for about 15 weeks. Following this period, they presented a higher number of amyloid plaques.
Presently, the researchers point out the need for more studies. These could help establish a potential causal relation. They may also offer more data on the effects of air pollutants on the brain.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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