Wednesday February 26, 2020

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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Exposure to Air Pollution May Trigger Non-Fatal Heart Attack

Air pollution's tiny particles may trigger heart attacks

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Heart attack pollution
Exposure to ambient ultrafine particles common in air pollution may potentially trigger a non-fatal heart attack. Pixabay

Researchers have found that even a few hours’ exposure to ambient ultrafine particles common in air pollution may potentially trigger a non-fatal heart attack.

Myocardial infarction is a major form of cardiovascular disease worldwide. Ultrafine particles (UFP) are 100 nanometres or smaller in size. In urban areas, automobile emissions are the primary source of UFP.

For the study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers investigated the effects of UFP exposure and heart attacks using the number of particles and the particle length and surface area concentrations at hourly intervals of exposure.

“This study confirms something that has long been suspected–air pollution’s tiny particles can play a role in serious heart disease. This is particularly true within the first few hours of exposure,” said the study’s first author Kai Chen, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.

Heart attack pollution
The researchers were interested in whether transient UFP exposure could trigger heart attacks and whether alternative metrics such as particle length and surface area concentrations could improve the investigation of UFP-related health effects. Pixabay

UFP constitute a health risk due to their small size, large surface areas per unit of mass, and their ability to penetrate the cells and get into the blood system, the study said.

The researchers were interested in whether transient UFP exposure could trigger heart attacks and whether alternative metrics such as particle length and surface area concentrations could improve the investigation of UFP-related health effects.

The research team examined data from a registry of all non-fatal MI cases in Augsburg, Germany.

The study looked at more than 5,898 non-fatal heart attack patients between 2005 and 2015.

The individual heart attacks were compared against air pollution UFP data on the hour of the heart attack and adjusted for a range of additional factors, such as the day of the week, long-term time trend and socio-economic status.

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“This represents an important step toward understanding the appropriate indicator of ultrafine particles exposure in determining the short-term health effects, as the effects of particle length and surface concentrations were stronger than the ones of particle number concentration and remained similar after adjustment for other air pollutants,” said Chen.

“Our future analyses will examine the combined hourly exposures to both air pollution and extreme temperature. We will also identify vulnerable subpopulations regarding pre-existing diseases and medication intake,” Chen added. (IANS)