Alzheimer

Tiny particles of pollution - inside samples of brain tissue - could be contributing to diseases such as Alzheimer's, according to new research.

The study, led by scientists at Lancaster University, raises a host of new questions about the health risks of air pollution.

Our Science Editor David Shukman assesses its findings.

Go outside and take a long, deep breath. Do your lungs feel suitably refreshed? If you’re in any one of a growing number of cities, the answer to that question may well be ‘no’. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a staggering 98% of large cities (those with more than 100,000 inhabitants) in low- and middle-income countries do not meet minimum air quality guidelines. The situation is better in high-income countries, but still, less than half of cities are up to standard.

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish researchers have uncovered a direct link between polluted air and dementia, local media reported on Tuesday.

People who live in homes exposed more heavily to pollution run a 40 percent greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia than those who live in areas with cleaner air, a study by researchers at Umea University has found.

“We should get out of here,” says air pollution chemist Eben Cross. At 7 a.m. on this cold November day the wind blows steadily through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Cambridge campus, cutting through our thin jackets. But Cross isn’t afraid of the cold. He worries about the air we’re breathing — especially considering the six fire trucks directly ahead, idling in the dim morning light.

Background: Exposure to ambient air pollution is suspected to cause cognitive effects, but a prospective cohort is needed to study exposure to air pollution at the home address and the incidence of dementia.

Objectives: We aimed to assess the association between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and dementia incidence in a major city in northern Sweden.