Exhaust gas, cigarette smoke, heating, pollution is not only harmful to the respiratory tract, but also to the brain! In fact, pollution can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's, while, on the contrary, improving the air quality of the spaces where you spend more time reduces the risk of dementia. This is what emerges from several scientific studies presented a few days ago at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Denver.
Pollution and cognitive function
Both pollution and the incidence of Alzheimer's disease are on the rise. Previously, scientific studies had already noted a link between air quality and cognitive function. However, until now, no research has analyzed the association between pollution and Alzheimer's. The conference held in Denver a few days ago has instead filled these gaps.
More pollution increases the risk of dementia
What emerged from the various interventions of the research groups is that exposure, in the long term, to environmental pollutants, deriving, for example, from industrial fumes, from car exhaust gases, cigarette smoke or heating, increases the amount of beta amyloid proteins in the blood, a sign that these proteins are building up in the brain. Accumulations of beta amyloid proteins in the brain are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, studies have made it possible to observe the link between pollution and dementia.
Improving air quality
But there is a good piece of news. In fact, the same scientific studies have also been able to note that by reducing exposure to pollutants it is also possible to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. In fact, a 10% reduction in particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide levels for ten years led to an average 20% reduction in the risk of developing dementia.
Therefore, it is important to improve the air quality of the places where we spend most of our lives, such as homes or offices, ensuring the proper functioning of heating sources, abandoning cigarette smoke or even resorting to filtering systems for the air. It is also important, where possible, to avoid exercising outdoors during the hours when the highest levels of smog are concentrated.