An investigation determined that with age, high levels of outdoor air pollution cause considerable damage to the brain. In America, 5.7 million people live with Alzheimer’s, a type of dementia that causes problems with thinking, behavior, and memory.
There is no known cure for this disease yet. However, recent research found that reducing air pollution reduces the risk of suffering from it.
Dr. Joseph Mercola made it known through an analysis published on Mercola.com, in which he indicated that the study ran over 10 years and was presented at the 2021 International Conference of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Research followed a group of women for 10 years
At the start of the Women’s Health Initiative: Memory Study-Epidemiology of Cognitive Health Outcomes, the elderly women who participated (from the United States and Europe) did not have dementia. This condition was followed up from 2008 to 2018.
Every year, for a decade, the researchers tested them for cognitive functions and also used methods to estimate air pollution levels in their homes. Among the results, it was obtained that those who lived in areas where air pollution improved by more than 10%, presented similar benefits to those who were 2 or 3 years younger and their general memory and cognitive functions took longer to deteriorate.
Women who were exposed to lower levels of traffic pollution in the United States experienced slower cognitive decline. Likewise, the reduction of fine particles in France at the end of 10 years reduced the risk of all causes of dementia by 15% and Alzheimer’s by 17%.
The study’s lead author, Xinhui Wang, reported in a press release: “Our findings are of great importance as they reinforce the evidence that, with age, elevated levels of outdoor air pollution cause considerable damage in the brain. Furthermore, they confirm that it is possible to reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia by improving air quality”.
The director of science and outreach programs at the Alzheimer’s Association said that air pollution was known to be harmful to the brain, and that research shows that improving air quality can reduce the risk of dementia.
Pollution: A serious problem
Worldwide, 95% of the population lives in places where pollution exceeds the amount considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to Dr. Mercola’s analysis, more than 40 investigations have analyzed air pollution from 130 countries, and have classified it as “the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world”. Polluted air particles are 2.6 microns wide or smaller, so they can easily pass through lung tissue and enter the bloodstream.