Thursday October 18, 2018

Air pollution can Increase Risk of Dementia in Elder Women: Study

These women were also 92 per cent more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer's.

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New York, Feb 1, 2017: Elderly women exposed to tiny air pollution particles may face an increased risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, a study has found.

The findings showed the fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) — coming from power and automobile plants — could invade the brain and wreak havoc in older women who live in these places.

The air quality of those places which exceeds the US Environmental Protection Agency’s standard of 81 percent were more likely to experience global cognitive decline.

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These women were also 92 per cent more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

“Microscopic particles generated by fossil fuels get into our body directly through the nose into the brain,” said Caleb Finch, Professor at the University of Southern California (USC).

“Cells in the brain treat these particles as invaders and react with inflammatory responses, which over the course of time, appear to exacerbate and promote Alzheimer’s disease,” Finch added.

The effects were stronger in women who had the APOE4 gene — a genetic variation that increases the risk for Alzheimer’s.

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For the general population, the risk was nearly 21 per cent, the researchers said.

The study also “provides the evidence of a critical Alzheimer’s risk gene possibly interacting with air particles to accelerate brain ageing,” said Jiu-Chiuan Chen, Associate Professor at the USC.

For the study, published in the Nature journal Translational Psychiatry, the team analysed data of 3,647 of 65- to 79-year-old women who did not have dementia.

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In another experiment, the scientists chronically exposed female mice carrying the APOE4 gene to nano-sized air pollution for 15 weeks.

The results showed that the exposure of mice to air particles damaged neurons in the hippocampus — the memory centre vulnerable to both brain ageing and Alzheimer’s disease.

-IANS

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Levels of Air Pollution Directly Linked to Oral Cancer: Study

A significant association was also observed for ozone levels below 28.69-30.97 parts per billion

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Air Pollution
Air pollution linked to high risk of oral cancer: Study. Pixabay

Higher levels of air pollution may be linked to a heightened risk of developing oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, a study has found.

While mouth cancers have been associated with smoking, drinking, human papilloma virus, and the chewing of betel quid (“paan”), the study added to this list increased levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and to lesser extent, ozone.

“This study, with a large sample size, is the first to associate oral cancer with PM2.5… These findings add to the growing evidence on the adverse effects of PM2.5 on human health,” said researchers including Shou-Jen Lan, Professor at the Asia University, in Taiwan.

Exposure to heavy metals and emissions from petrochemical plants are also thought to be implicated in the development of the disease while PM2.5 is known to be harmful to respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Previously, high air pollution has been linked to a host of health problems, from an increased risk of dementia to asthma and even changes in the structure of the heart, with recent research suggesting there is no “safe level” of air pollution.

Air Pollution
Air Pollution. pixabay

For the new study, published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine, the team discovered the association by looking at air pollution data from 66 air quality monitoring stations in Taiwan, collected in 2009.

They combined this with data from the health records of more than 4,80,000 men aged 40 and over from 2012-13. In total, there were 11,617 cases of mouth cancer among the participants.

They found that men exposed to the highest levels of PM2.5s had an increased risk of mouth cancer.

Compared with men exposed to average annual PM2.5 levels of 26.74 micrograms (µg) per cubic metre (m3) of air, those exposed to concentrations of 40.37 µg/m3 or higher had 43 per cent greater odds of developing the disease.

Air Pollution.
Air pollution may also lead to changes in heart structure. Pixabay

A significant association was also observed for ozone levels below 28.69-30.97 parts per billion.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is responsible for an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide per year.

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Around 6,57,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed annually across the globe, with 3,30,000 of those patients dying, it said. (IANS)