Pollution 'linked to Alzheimer's'

Posted on 07 April 2011

Exposure to vehicle pollution could lead to Alzheimer's disease, new research has suggested.

A study published in journal Environmental Health Perspectives exposed mice to particles from the freeway. Results showed brain damage in the animals that affected memory and learning.

Additionally, indicators of Alzheimer's such as brain inflammation were also seen in the brain, and neurons in developing mice did not grow as well.

Author Caleb Finch explained that although they are not visible, freeway particles are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that could lead to long term consequences.

"Of course this leads to the question, 'How can we protect urban dwellers from this type of toxicity?' And that's a huge unknown," he said.

This comes after the identification of four Alzheimer's genes that increase predisposition to the condition by scientists at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Authors of the study hope their findings will help medical professionals to predict which individuals will develop Alzheimer's, thereby opening up treatment options.

Posted by Natalie Edwards


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