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Noise, air pollution and Alzheimer

Noise, air pollution and Alzheimer

January 20, 2020
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The fight against Alzheimer is involving more and more fronts. Prevention is pivotal and the scientific researchers are focusing their attention on all the habits and lifestyle that we can choose in order to protect ourselves. In addition to abolishing cigarette smoke, doing a moderate physical activity, following a diet able to improve the health of gut microbiota, also the environment where we live is important. In fact, it seems that noise pollution and air pollution may act by increasing the risk of developing Alzheimer. This is the result of several scientific researches, we can mention the work performed by a team of English scientists and published in the journal BMJ in 2018 (Carey et al) and that published in 2017 by German researchers in the journal Environment International (Tzivian et al).

The scientists observed that living in polluted areas that cause a chronic exposure to nitrogen dioxide, released by traffic and heating, increases the risk of developing Alzheimer. The same happens with particulates. In addition to this, an increased risk, even though lower than that caused by air pollution, has also been showed for the noise pollution, and this means the continuous noise of traffic, cities and building sites but also loud music. It seems that there is a synergy between high noises and high levels of air pollutants that increases further the risk of Alzheimer. The explanation has not yet been completely understood but, according to other works, there may be a correlation between pollution, both of air and noise, and hypertension (Muenzel et al, Environment and Cardiovascular Disease, 2017- Giorgini et al, Curr Pharm Des, 2016) and, according to recent studies, hypertension is a risk factor of Alzheimer (Lennon et al, J Alzheimer Dis, 2019).

For this reason, the pollution in cities would not cause just problems for the respiratory and cardiovascular system but also for the brain, according to this analysis. Further studies are needed to confirm these results and to understand better the causes, in the meantime the authors give some guidelines. For example, they say that a good idea could be avoiding moving in rush hours or avoiding physical activity in the most trafficked areas and, we add, you can certainly exploit the help that some plants can offer you in order to improve the quality of air of indoor environments, as we have discussed in previous posts.

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