Sunday July 22, 2018

Youth in polluted cities at increased risk of Alzheimer’s

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Climate Trends works on solutions to air pollution, while Co Media Lab is a community media lab.
Pollution can lead to Alzheimer's in youth. Wikimedia Commons
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Children and young adults living in polluted megacities are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, a debilitating brain disease characterised by memory loss, a new study has warned.

“Alzheimer’s disease hallmarks start in childhood in polluted environments, and we must implement effective preventative measures early,” said one of the researchers Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas from University of Montana in the US.

Air pollution can trigger Alzheimer’s. Flickr

“It is useless to take reactive actions decades later,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. The findings, published in the Journal of Environmental Research, indicate that Alzheimer’s starts in early childhood, and the disease progression relates to age, pollution exposure and status of Apolipoprotein E (APOE 4), a well-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. The researchers studied 203 autopsies of Mexico City residents in the US ranging in age from 11 months to 40 years.

Metropolitan Mexico City is home to 24 million people exposed daily to concentrations of fine particulate matter and ozone above US Environmental Protection Agency standards. The researchers tracked two abnormal proteins that indicate development of Alzheimer’s, and they detected the early stages of the disease in babies less than a year old.

Also Read: Your daily cup of coffee can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms

The scientists found heightened levels of the two abnormal proteins — hyperphosphorylated tau and beta amyloid — in the brains of young urbanites with lifetime exposures to fine-particulate-matter pollution (PM2.5).

They also tracked APOE 4 as well as lifetime cumulative exposure to unhealthy levels of PM2.5 — particles which are at least 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and frequently cause the haze over urban areas. The researchers found hallmarks of the disease among 99.5 percent of the autopsies they examined in Mexico City. In addition, the findings showed that APOE 4 carriers had a higher risk of rapid progression of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s can cause depression too. Pixabay

The researchers believe the detrimental effects are caused by tiny pollution particles that enter the brain through the nose, lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and these particles damage all barriers and travel everywhere in the body through the circulatory system.

The authors noted that ambient air pollution is a key modifiable risk for millions of people across the globe. “Neuroprotection measures ought to start very early, including the prenatal period and childhood,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. “Defining pediatric environmental, nutritional, metabolic and genetic risk-factor interactions are key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease,” she added. IANS

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Facebook Joins Skill India Mission to Train Empower Youth

In 2017, Facebook launched Digital Training Hub which aims to train 500,000 youth and entrepreneurs by 2020

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Under the Skill India Mission, nearly one crore youth in the country are being annually skilled, reskilled and upskilled through various central government programmes. (IANS)

Social media giant Facebook on Tuesday entered into a strategic partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to empower youth and entrepreneurs with digital skills in India.

The partnership, signed in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, will enable Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to incorporate Facebook’s training on Digital Marketing Skills in its courses, besides providing trainees with access to local, domestic and international markets.

The programme includes courses on Digital Marketing, Online Safety and Financial Literacy in regional languages with Facebook imparting training to people nominated by the NSDC. This will up-skill job seekers and increase their prospects of employment.

“We are delighted to partner with the National Skill Development Corporation to help in upskilling the youth of the country and also empower local businesses by providing training and resources to build up a digital presence and grow their businesses beyond what the traditional offline economies offer,” Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director, India, South and Central Asia – Facebook, said in a statement.

“This skilled workforce and successful businesses are imperative for boosting employment and economic growth in the country,” she added.

The collaboration will also enable trainees to have access to Facebook’s Jobs tool to easily search for job openings. They can easily search for jobs in their Facebook app or visit www.facebook.com/jobs through their mobile phones while controlling the sharing of information with prospective employers.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

“The partnership with Facebook aims to leverage the digital opportunity which can assist in creating a market place for many businesses and service offerings for candidates getting trained under our skill ecosystem and; also act as an information kiosk for knowledge sharing,” said Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

“With Facebook’s expertise and support, we are taking a step towards utilising the immense potential of digital skills for the economic betterment of the country,” he said.

Under the Skill India Mission, nearly one crore youth in the country are being annually skilled, reskilled and upskilled through various central government programmes.

Also Read: Facebook Fails to Stop Users from Sharing Pirated Movies

Facebook’s previous training programmes on Digital Marketing Skills have upskilled more than 200,000 youth and entrepreneurs under the #BoostYourBusiness programme across 16 states in the country.

Under the network giant’s #SheMeansBusiness programme, another 30,000 women entrepreneurs are currently being trained, the company said.

In 2017, Facebook launched Digital Training Hub which aims to train 500,000 youth and entrepreneurs by 2020. (IANS)