Science: The Polluted Brain

The Polluted Brain by Emily Underwood

Science  27 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6323, pp. 342-345
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6323.342

Some of the health risks of inhaling fine and ultrafine pollutant particles are well-established, such as asthma, lung cancer, and, most recently, heart disease. But a growing body of evidence suggests that such exposure can also harm the brain, accelerating cognitive aging, and may even increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The link between air pollution and dementia remains controversial—even its proponents warn that more research is needed to confirm a causal connection and work out just how the particles might enter the brain and make mischief there. But a growing number of epidemiological studies from around the world, new findings from animal models and human brain imaging studies, and increasingly sophisticated techniques for modeling PM2.5 exposures have raised alarms.

Read more from Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6323/342

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