Air pollution causes brain damage

(ORDO NEWS) — Environmental Health: Two hours of exposure to exhaust fumes worsened cognitive function.

A team of scientists from the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria found that even short-term exposure to exhaust-polluted air causes brain damage.

In the experiment, the authors exposed 25 healthy adults to substances produced during the combustion of diesel fuel, as well as clean filtered air, at different times.

After each stage, brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Then, changes were analyzed in various areas of the brain responsible for memory and thinking.

It turned out that the participants had reduced connectivity in these parts of the brain even after just two hours of exposure to polluted air.

Experts note that this was reflected in problems with cognitive functions and the manifestation of symptoms of depression.

At the same time, changes in the brain were temporary, after inhalation of purified air, the condition of the volunteers returned to normal.

It is anticipated that effects may be long-term if exposure is longer. This and the possibility of other functional disorders are planned to be tested in further studies.

In December 2022, researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurology (IoPPN) and King’s College London found that air pollution in large cities can increase the risk of developing two or more comorbidities (long-term physical and mental disorders) by 21 percent.


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