The new study found that reducing air pollution could be the key to thwarting Dementia. Researchers at Chicago-based non-profit Alzheimer’s Association are detailing three papers that put pressure on governments to clean our air and help reduce rates of the debilitating condition.
The study’s authors looked at the effect of reducing nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less about 3% the diameter of a human hair known as PM2.5. In one study, cutting NO2 levels over time lowered the chance of developing Dementia by more than a quarter up to 26% When breathed in, microscopic particles in air pollution enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain, where they provoke inflammation, a problem that may be the trigger for Dementia. But more research is needed into how exactly air pollution exposure could cause different Dementia conditions, including Alzheimer’s.
PM2.5 can enter the lungs and then the bloodstream and mostly comes from burning coal, wood stoves, forest fires, smokestacks, and other human processes that involve burning. Meanwhile, NO2, which mainly comes from road transport emissions, damages immune system cells in the lungs and causes increased susceptibility to respiratory infections. It can make asthmatics more sensitive to allergens.