AlzU Blog

Quick Alzheimer's Prevention Pearl: Can Air Pollution Accelerate Aging of the Brain?

  AD Wisdom Pearl #4

A January 2017 study, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, adds to a growing body of research from around the world pointing to a strong link between air pollution and dementia.  The pollutants in the studies were very fine particles, with diameters of 2.5 micrometers or smaller.  Studies revealed that these particles can be inhaled, and are thought to readily travel from the respiratory tract, through the bloodstream, and into the brain.

For the study, mice were exposed to air particles (exposed to pollutants) which were shown to damage nerve cells in the memory center of the brain, called the Hippocampus.  The Hippocampus is normally the area of the brain, which is the most vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease, and one of the primary areas to show early symptoms of AD.
“The study provided introductory scientific evidence of the AD risk gene (APOE4) interacting with air particles to accelerate aging in the brain,” said Jiu-Chiuan Chen, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Kecks School of Medicine of USC, and co-senior author of the study. 

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