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Study Associates Air Pollution With Heart Attack

Research says that air pollution in India causes cardiovascular diseases

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People in India are also at a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to the air pollution. Pixabay

Researchers conducting a study in a periurban area in southern India have found that air pollution in the country is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

The study shows that people most exposed to fine particles have a higher CIMT index (carotid intima-media thickness) — a marker of atherosclerosis — which means they are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack.

“Our findings highlight the need to perform more studies on air pollution in low- and middle-income countries, since the conclusions may differ considerably from studies in high income countries due to differences in population characteristics and air pollution levels and sources,” said researcher Cathryn Tonne from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). It was published in the journal International Journal of Epidemiology.

Previous studies indicate that inflammation and atherosclerosis are most likely responsible for the association between long-term exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular disease and mortality.

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The research team picked India, a lower middle income country with high levels of air pollution. Pixabay

For the findings, the research team picked India, a lower middle income country with high levels of air pollution.

The study was performed with 3,372 participants from a periurban region of Hyderabad, Telangana, in southern India.

The research team measured CIMT and estimated exposure to air pollution using an algorithm called land use regression (LUR) frequently used to predict the amount of fine particles (suspended particles with a diameter under 2.5 µm) in high-income countries.

The participants also provided information on the type of cooking fuel they used.

The results indicate that high annual exposure to ambient fine particles was associated with a higher CIMT, particularly in men, participants above 40 years of age, or those with cardiometabolic risk factors.

Sixty per cent of participants used biomass cooking fuel.

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The country is affected by high levels of air pollution, both ambient and indoors. Pixabay

“people using biomass fuel for cooking had a higher CIMT, particularly women who cooked in unventilated spaces.” In addition, “women had a higher CIMT than men, which could be due to the fact that they spend more time in the kitchen, breathing air polluted by biomass fuel,” study first author Otavio Ranzani, explained.

According to the study, annual average exposure to PM2.5 was 32,7 µg/m3, far above the maximum levels recommended by the WHO (10 µg/m3).

Also Read- Study Reveals That Plants and Trees are Effective Options to Curb Air Pollution

“This study is relevant for countries which, like India, are experiencing a rapid epidemiological transition and a sharp increase in the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and obesity,” Tonne said.

“In addition, the country is affected by high levels of air pollution, both ambient and indoors,” Tonne added. (IANS)

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Immune Cells Become Active and Repair Brain While Sleep: Study

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice

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Study suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during Sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the Brain. Pixabay

Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we sleep.

Microglia serve as the brain’s first responders, patrolling the brain and spinal cord and springing into action to stamp out infections or gobble up debris from dead cell tissue.

“This research shows that the signals in our brain that modulate the sleep and awake state also act as a switch that turns the immune system off and on,” said study lead author Ania Majewska, Professor at University of Rochester in the US.

In previous studies, Majewska’s lab has shown how microglia interact with synapses, the juncture where the axons of one neuron connects and communicates with its neighbours.

The microglia help maintain the health and function of the synapses and prune connections between nerve cells when they are no longer necessary for brain function.

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice.

The current study points to the role of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that signals arousal and stress in the central nervous system.

This chemical is present in low levels in the brain while we sleep, but when production ramps up it arouses our nerve cells, causing us to wake up and become alert.

The study showed that norepinephrine also acts on a specific receptor, the beta2 adrenergic receptor, which is expressed at high levels in microglia.

When this chemical is present in the brain, the microglia slip into a sort of hibernation.

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Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we Sleep and affects Brain. Pixabay

The study, which employed an advanced imaging technology that allows researchers to observe activity in the living brain, showed that when mice were exposed to high levels of norepinephrine, the microglia became inactive and were unable to respond to local injuries and pulled back from their role in rewiring brain networks.

“This work suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the brain,” said study first author Rianne Stowell.

ALSO READ: Scientists Link ‘Brain Fog’ to Body Illness

“Altogether, this research also shows that microglia are exquisitely sensitive to signals that modulate brain function and that microglial dynamics and functions are modulated by the behavioural state of the animal,” Stowell said.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. (IANS)