Sunday December 16, 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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Exposure To Air Pollution Linked To Breast cancer: Study

Government can plan for new designs for industrial and commercial facilities to cut down on the occupational exposures.

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Air pollution, asia
Air pollution shortens life by more than one year in India. Wikimedia Commons

Women working near busy roads are at high risk of developing breast cancer, due to traffic-related air pollution, researchers have warned.

The team, from University of Stirling in Scotland, analysed the case of a woman who developed breast cancer after spending 20 years working as a border guard at the busiest commercial border crossing in North America.

The woman was one of, at least, five other border guards who developed breast cancer within 30 months of each other and, at another nearby crossing, a cluster of seven other cases was noted.

Pollution, pollutants, India, air pollution, WHO, diwali
India’s Rashtrapati Bhawan, or the Presidential Palace is partly visible due to smog as traffic plies on Rajapth, the ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi. VOA

According to Michael Gilbertson, the findings “infer a causal relationship” between breast cancer and very high exposures to traffic-related air pollution containing mammary carcinogens. A link between nightshift work and cancer was also identified.

“This new research indicates the role of traffic-related air pollution in contributing to the increasing incidence of breast cancer in the general population,” Gilbertson said.

The group of women all developed a cancer believed to have been caused by exhaust fumes in what researchers have branded a ‘new occupational disease’.

There is a one in 10,000 chance the cases were a coincidence, the study published in the journal New Solutions said, because the cancers were all so similar and close together.

air pollution, breast cancer
Breast cancer cell, Wikimedia Commons

A review of previous research confirmed that BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes — which try to stop tumours growing — can be “silenced” by exposures to dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – both found in exhaust fumes.

BRCA2 gets rapidly degraded in the presence of aldehydes – also components of exhaust fumes.

Also Read: Chemotherapy May Not Be Needed To Treat Breast Cancer: Study

“There is much more research to be undertaken,” Gilbertson said. “But we now have plausible mechanisms for inferring how the BRCA1/2 tumour suppressors in this highly-exposed border guard became dysfunctional and likely contributed to the ongoing epidemic of sporadic, early onset, premenopausal breast cancer among her colleagues.

“With this new knowledge, industry and government can plan for new designs for industrial and commercial facilities to cut down on the occupational exposures to traffic-related air pollution,” Gilbertson said. (IANS)