Researchers show that children with lifetime exposures to concentrations of air pollutants above the current US standards, including fine particulate matter, are at an increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative changes, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
The study found that clinically healthy children who live in a polluted environment and who also carry a gene – the apolipoprotein e4 allele, already known to increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease – demonstrated compromised cognitive responses when compared with children carrying a gene with apolipoprotein e3 allele.
The authors argue that sustained exposures to urban air pollution result in cognitive underperformance and metabolic brain changes that could lead to an acceleration of neurodegenerative changes.
Air pollution is a serious public health issue, and exposures to concentrations of air pollutants at or above the current standards have been linked to neuroinflammation and neuropathology.
The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.


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