A UK government review has suggested that air pollutants could get into the lungs and bloodstream and affect brain function and lead to cognitive decline.
According to major research done for the UK government, air pollution could be responsible for cognitive decline and dementia in older people. This was revealed Monday by major UK government-funded research.
After examining nearly 70 human studies, the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants came to its conclusions. These studies looked for connections between pollution and impaired mental ability.
“It is likely that air pollution can contribute to a decline in mental ability and dementia in older people,”According to the report.
Research suggests that blood circulation may be the easiest way to achieve this. “It is known that air pollutants, particularly small particles, can affect the heart and blood vessels, including to the brain,”This is the conclusion of the study.
There is now stronger evidence linking exposure to pollutant air to brain effects “over the past 15 to 20 years,”According to the report. One potential mechanism that could have an adverse impact on brain activity is: “translocation of small particles from the lung to the blood stream and hence to the brain.”
The researchers suggested that pollution may also cause immune cells to be stimulated in the brain. This could then lead to damage of nerve cells.
However, the researchers also found that dementia can be linked to air pollution. But, they don’t have sufficient data to determine how many cases of dementia are caused by this.
It also states that “there is evidence that air pollution… increases the risk of cardiovascular, including cerebrovascular, disease,”It is well-known that it can have a negative effect on the mental ability.
COMEAP recommended that additional research be conducted to explore the matter further.
The UK National Health Service (NHS) estimates that more than 850,000 Britons have dementia. Elderly people are the most vulnerable. A quarter of people older than 65 are affected by dementia. One-in-six people above 80 have the condition.
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