Saturday May 26, 2018

Swedish researchers uncover link between pollution and dementia

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Stockholm:  Swedish researchers have uncovered a direct link between polluted air and dementia.18968810438_b747b04a29
People who live in homes exposed more heavily to pollution run a 40 percent greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia than those who live in areas with cleaner air, a study at Umea University says.

“In total, about 16 percent of all the cases of dementia in the study might have been caused by exposure to pollution,” researcher Bertil Forsberg said describing the results as “sensational.”

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, studied nearly 2,000 people over a 15-year span while simultaneously tracking traffic patterns in the northern Swedish city of Umea, Xinhua news agency reported.

All participants were 55 or older and free of any disease symptoms when the study began.

The researchers established the elevated risk having controlled for factors such as age, education level, lifestyle and body fat.

While previous research linked air pollution to cancer, asthma and respiratory diseases, academics have in recent years begun to probe how air quality affects the brain.

“We know that very small particles can enter the brain through the olfactory nerve and cause direct damage,” Forsberg said.

(IANS)

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Small Head Blows Can Also Increase Risk of Dementia

In total, 357,558 participants, whose average age was 49, were tracked.

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Concussion without loss of consciousness led to 2.36 times the risk for dementia, showed the findings published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
Head blows can cause dementia, Pixabay

Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found.

The study, which tracked more than 350,000 participants, showed that the likelihood of dementia more than doubled following concussion.

Concussion without loss of consciousness led to 2.36 times the risk for dementia, showed the findings published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

These risks were slightly elevated for those in the loss-of-consciousness bracket (2.51) and were nearly four times higher (3.77) for those with the more serious moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury.

The researchers identified participants from two databases. The first group included all-era veterans whose traumatic brain injuries could have occurred during civilian or military life.

The second group included veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, for whom most of these injuries had occurred in combat zones, such as from shockwaves in blasts.

Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found.
Dementia, Pixabay

“The findings in both groups were similar, indicating that concussions occurring in combat areas were as likely to be linked to dementia as those concussions affecting the general population,” said first author Deborah Barnes, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, US.

In total, 357,558 participants, whose average age was 49, were tracked.

Half had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, of which 54 per cent reported experiencing concussion.

The study followed the participants for an average of 4.2 years.

“There are several mechanisms that may explain the association between traumatic brain injury and dementia,” said senior author and principal investigator Kristine Yaffe, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

Also Read: Researchers Identified Protein Associated With Breast Cancer

 “There’s something about trauma that may hasten the development of neurodegenerative conditions. One theory is that brain injury induces or accelerates the accumulation of abnormal proteins that lead to neuronal death associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease,” Yaffe said.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

“It’s also possible that trauma leaves the brain more vulnerable to other injuries or ageing processes,” Yaffe said. (IANS)

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