Connect with us

Science

Scientists Link Air Pollution to a Higher Dementia Risk

Apart from being recognized as an established risk factor for stroke and respiratory disease, air pollution might be associated with a heightened risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, as scientists say. A London-based study that involved 131,000 patients established associations that couldn’t be explained by known factors that influence the risks of developing the condition.

Pollution estimates vs. sample

The researchers used carefully calculated estimates of air and noise pollution levels across the Greater London area, looking for potential links to new dementia diagnoses. In order to do this, they focused on anonymous patient health records stored at the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). This research service that operates within the UK Department of Health has been collecting data from participating general practices in the UK since 1987. The research focused on about 131,000 patients aged 50 to 79 in 2004 who hadn’t been diagnosed with dementia, registered at 75 general practices within the London orbital M25 motorway.

Research procedure

Through validating modelling methods, validated with recorded measurements and the patients’ residential postcodes, the researchers were able to estimate not only their yearly exposure to air pollutants, especially nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3), but also their proximity to traffic and road noise. Then they tracked the health of these patients for an average of 7 years, until a diagnosis of dementia, deregistration from the practice or death, whichever occurred first. During the monitored period, 1.7% of the participants were diagnosed with dementia.

Unexplained by known risk factors

These diagnoses, including the Alzheimer’s disease, were associated with ambient levels of NO2 and PM2.5 that were measured at the patients’ homes at the start of the monitoring period in 2004. What is more, these associations were consistent and unexplained by known risk factors like smoking and diabetes. Still, when restricted to specific types of dementia, they lingered only for the participants diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The patients living in the top fifth of NO2 levels had a 40 percent heightened risk of being diagnosed with dementia than those living in the bottom fifth.

A possible alternative

Perhaps a more elaborate study is needed, one which would include people provided with individualised dementia care. These programs include highly trained staff and 24-hour clinical support that provide security, stability and peace of mind to both the residents and their families. Apart from in-depth patient knowledge and leading staff to resident ratios, these programs capitalise on light-filled spaces, calming palettes of blues and greens and private gardens which offer a safe connection to the outdoors.

Potential for additional research

While an increase in risk similar to NO2 levels was observed for higher PM2.5 levels as well, researchers agree that this is an observational study, and as such, has difficulties establishing the cause, with the findings applicable to London only. The researchers also missed the opportunity to single out long-term exposures, which may be relevant for Alzheimer’s disease which often takes many years to develop. However, they suggest that traffic-related pollution has been linked to slower cognitive development in young children, and continued exposure to neuroinflammation and altered brain immune system.

The development of dementia involves many factors, but the exact cause of the condition is still unknown. And while researchers point out several plausible pathways for air pollutants to reach the brain, no one has explained how they might contribute to neurodegeneration. Even if the impact of air pollution was relatively modest, public health would gain much if reducing the exposure to it may delay the onset of dementia.

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Autos2 days ago

Choosing the Right Tail Lights for Your Car or Bike

If you need new tail lights for your car or bike, you’ll want to take several factors into consideration so...

End of lease cleaning in Melbourne End of lease cleaning in Melbourne
Home Improvement3 days ago

End of lease cleaning in Melbourne – Move in and Move out easily

If you are a tenant, you are sure to be aware of the fact that you get to move into...

team in Sydney team in Sydney
Lifestyle3 days ago

Tips in finding a trustworthy removalists team in Sydney

Relocating to a newly rented or leased house space can be a tedious and time-consuming process to perform on your...

Lifestyle5 days ago

4 Fashion Additions to Complete Your Outfit

A wonderful outfit can make you appear and feel like someone who can conquer the world without even breaking a...

Autos6 days ago

How to Go about Selling an Old Car for Parts

Selling an old car for parts is easier than most people realize, and your junker could be worth quite a...

Business2 weeks ago

4 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Feed Tank for Your Manufacturing

In every day manufacturing you may find that you need a feed tank for your operation. Selecting the right feed...

Tech2 weeks ago

How to Find a Phone that Fits your Needs

Are you looking to buy a phone that may suit your needs without poking a hole in your wallet? You...

Lifestyle2 weeks ago

Elegant Dinner: 4 Ways to Fancify Your Next Get-Together

Throwing a social gathering in the comfort of your own home can be a joy. If you want your upcoming...

Autos2 weeks ago

5 Issues You May Face in the Aftermath of an Auto Accident

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is something we all would like to avoid. However, no matter how safe...

Business3 weeks ago

5 Ways Guest Posting Can Help Grow Your Online Audience

Guest blogging is the process of posting your original content on someone else’s website. This might seem like a counterproductive...

Home Improvement3 weeks ago

4 Important Ways You Can Update Your Decades-Old Home

Modernizing an older house doesn’t need to be a time-consuming or expensive process. With a few simple upgrades and a...

General3 weeks ago

3 Ways to Strive Toward Better Sexual Health

September is World Sexual Health Month! A critical part of our overall well-being is sexual health. This month is the...

Finance4 weeks ago

Strapped for Cash? 5 Ways to Earn Money Quickly

The dream is to be in a position where you don’t have to worry about money. Until that dream becomes...

Autos1 month ago

4 Signs Your Transmission May Be Going Out

Of all the mechanical problems that your vehicle might have, a transmission issue is perhaps the most dreaded. If you...

Ideas to Increase Attendance Ideas to Increase Attendance
Tech1 month ago

Creative Event Promotion Ideas to Increase Attendance

In modern and challenging world technology integration is considered as the crown of the successful business. Technology revealed the consistent...

Categories

Archives

Trending