Air pollution and Dementia.

Is there a link?

Understanding the Intricacies of Dementia

Every day that passes reveals new sources of information that brings us closer to solving the mysteries of medicine. For years, Dementia has remained one of those elusive mysteries, but nevertheless, strides are made daily.

Many things have been attributed to causing illness. One day the doctor says, “you can’t eat this”, the next, “you can”. But, recent discoveries in Dementia about the formation of tangles and plaques being the onset of the condition (see previous blog “A Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia”), are solid facts that open doors to how we understand the ailment and what truly causes and accelerates the syndrome.

Within the past month, researchers have released various findings on air pollution (see our previous Facebook post) and its effects on Dementia and Alzheimer’s. It began with a long-term study published in The Lancet, of 6.6 million people from the years 2001-2012. Researchers discovered a clear trend that individuals who live in densely populated areas, with higher pollution, are at a greater risk of having dementia.

Traffic and Dementia


Figures showing risk of dementia from traffic

Lead scientist Dr Hong Chen, from Public Health Ontario, said:

Implications of living next to traffic quote

It is important to think sometimes about the environment your loved one is living in and how it affects their condition. Exposure to traffic pollutants, nitrogen dioxide and fine particles of sooty material (or particulate matter) generated by diesel engines can cause and accelerate the onset and effects of Dementia. Sometimes the solution may not be to leave the city entirely, but according to this research, street corners that have high traffic and truck movement should probably be avoided.

There is more, though, and in an article published just yesterday in Medical News Today, the particulate matter culprit called PM2.5 scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) are saying could be the cause of a fifth of all Dementia cases. PM2.5 – tiny air pollution particles that are up to 2.5 micrometres in diameter – increased women’s risk of dementia by over 90%.

This new information is a highly important discovery and provides vital clues to unravelling the medical mystery that is dementia. The more we know, the more we can diagnose, treat and hopefully prevent in the future. Contact a Harley Street Care representative and find out more information about how we can help you find care for your loved one today.

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