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Air pollution linked with Alzheimer’s-like brain changes among youths: study

February 15, 2012

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Missoula, MT – Air pollution may cause brain changes similar to Alzheimer’s disease among children and young adults, according to a new study by researchers in Mexico and the United States.

Researchers studied the brains of 43 deceased children and young adults with most subjects younger than 17 years old, according to the study. Thirty-five subjects lived in a Mexican city with very high levels of air pollution and eight lived in relatively unpolluted rural areas. The majority of the city-dwelling subjects showed genetic and physical indicators of early-onset Alzheimer’s, and the rural subjects showed no signs.

Researchers stated that these findings build on previous studies that have established links between air pollution and immune disorders and respiratory inflammation among children, and future research should examine whether air pollution causes central nervous system damage.

The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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