Monday April 22, 2019

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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Late Onset of Menstruation May Spike up Dementia Risk, Says Study

For the study, the researchers involved 6,137 women among which 42 per cent later developed dementia

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Representational Image- dementia, Pixabay

Women whose menstruation starts later and those who enter menopause early may have a greater risk of developing dementia, say researchers.

The findings showed that women who had their first menstrual cycle at age 16 or older had a 23 per cent greater risk of dementia than women who had their first menstrual cycle at age 13.

Women who went through natural menopause before age 47 had a 19 per cent greater risk of dementia than women who went through menopause at age 47 or older.

In addition, women who had hysterectomy — surgery to remove all or part of the uterus — had an eight per cent greater risk of dementia than those who did not, according to the study, published in the journal Neurology.

1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay
1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay

“Oestrogen levels can go up and down throughout a woman’s lifetime. Our results show that less exposure to oestrogen over the course of a lifetime is linked to an increased risk of dementia,” said Paola Gilsanz, Researcher at Kaiser Permanente – a US-based healthcare company.

For the study, the researchers involved 6,137 women among which 42 per cent later developed dementia.

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“Since women are 50 per cent more likely to develop dementia over their lifetimes than men, it’s important to study any risk factors that are specific to women that could eventually lead us to potential points of intervention,” Gilsanz suggested. (IANS)