Could the air we breathe have an impact on the development of Alzheimer’s disease?

A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has heightened concerns over the impact of a type of air pollution.

It’s called airborne iron-rich strongly magnetic combustion-derived nanoparticles (CDNPs) and it’s been found in young urbanites’ brains.

The impact on children

Using technology known as transmission electron microscopy, researchers investigated the impact of CDNPs on Mexico City children, teens and young adults.

These young people are chronically exposed to concentrations above the US-EPA standards for fine particulate matter. They have also shown key markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

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The particles contain transition neurotoxic metals and they are certainly causing extensive brain damage…

Moreover, they have olfaction deficits, dysregulation of feeding hormones, deficiencies in attention and short-term memory, and below-average scores in Verbal and Full Scale IQ compared to age, gender, and socioeconomic status-matched low air pollution residents.

“In the context of serious continuous exposures to high concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and ozone, our current electron microscopy findings and the extensive literature associating air pollutants with brain damage, the issue of who is at risk of neurodegeneration at an early age should be an urgent public health concern,” says Dr Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas.

Neurotoxic metals cause brain damage

According to the researchers, the problem of having combustion-derived nanoparticles in children’s developing brains is very serious.

The particles contain transition neurotoxic metals and they are certainly causing extensive brain damage in key organelles.

“The predominant combustion particles in young brains have properties that enable them to cause oxidative damage because these nanoparticles are capable of crossing all barriers. No barrier is spared,” emphasises Dr Calderón-Garcidueñas.

Source: IOS Press via

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