Toxic Nanoparticles From Air Pollution Found In Human Brains, Link To Alzheimer’s Disease
The researchers discovered toxic nanoparticles from air pollution in the human brains. They believe that these contaminated nanoparticles are the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study was printed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was led by Barbara Maher from the Lancaster University in Lancashire, U.K. and other colleagues, according to IBTimes. Maher explained that the results indicate that magnetite nanoparticles in the atmosphere can enter the human brain, where they might pose a risk to human health, involving conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The study involved 37 people aged between three and 92 years old, who live in Mexico City, Mexico and Manchester, U.K. The researchers examined their brain tissue and discovered ample magnetite nanoparticles in their brains.
These particles are highly toxic and associated with the production of free radicals, which are linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. There are also other nanoparticles that have metals like nickel, platinum and cobalt.
Maher said that there are millions of magnetite particles per gram of freeze-dried brain tissue, which she described as extraordinary and toxic. She explained that these will create reactive oxygen species known as radicals that are the features of Alzheimer’s disease, as noted by the Guardian.
In a study published in 2015, it indicates that air pollution was linked to a significant increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies suggested that brain damage was related to Alzheimer’s disease in children and young adults, who were exposed to air pollution. The air pollution has also been associated with dementia in adults.
“This study offers convincing evidence that magnetite from air pollution can get into the brain, but it doesn’t tell us what effect this has on brain health or conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Clare Walton, the research communications manager at the Alzheimer’s Society. She further said that there are more practical ways to lower your chances of acquiring dementia such as eating a healthy diet, exercise and avoiding smoking.