Air pollution affects not only the heart and lungs, but even the brain. Scientists have found particles in the brains of children and young people that provoke Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
A new study suggests that children and adolescents from Mexico City – a city with one of the lowest air quality in the world – have the same growths, plaques and plexuses in the brain as patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease.
Whether these markers of damage can cause neurological diseases in the future remains unclear. Further research is needed to find out, and this is especially important given that today 90% of the world’s child population breathes polluted air.
Scientists analyzed the brainstems of 186 young people in Mexico City, aged 11 months to 40 years. They discovered tiny nanoparticles that contribute to the development of neurological diseases.
The authors of the study argue that the nanoparticles are formed as a result of air pollution from cars. This is stated in a study published in the journal Environmental Research.
The brain stem is a section of the third brain that regulates the human nervous system. He is responsible for balance, breathing, heart rate.
The Iron(Fe) and Aluminum(AI)-rich nanoparticles found in the brain stem are deadly similar to those formed as combustion and friction particles in polluted air (from engines and braking systems)”, According to the study.
Researchers have found abnormal nanoparticles in the brain even in an 11-month-old baby.
All participants were exposed to air pollution throughout their lives. Scientists say the particles found in the brain stem could lead to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s in the future.
Studies of people of the same age living in less polluted areas of Mexico did not reveal the same neurological damage.
Scientists have previously raised concerns that the pollution in the air we breathe is leading to high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and heart problems.
Now, there is evidence that the world is experiencing a pandemic of neurological diseases – data from China, the UK and the US suggest that air pollution levels are associated with impaired cognitive functions and the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the US, UK and China are now continuing to explore in more detail how air pollution affects human neurological disease.