Study Reveals That Traffic Pollution Can Damage Brain Functions


eMediNexus    25 January 2023

According to a study published in the journal Environmental Health, ordinary levels of traffic pollution can damage human brain function in a matter of hours. The research revealed that even two hours of exposure to diesel exhaust reduces the brain′s functional connectivity, which is a gauge of how well the brain communicates. The study offered the first concrete proof of altered brain network connectivity brought on by air pollution in humans in a controlled experiment. For the study, 25 healthy individuals were momentarily exposed in a lab environment to diesel exhaust and filtered air at various times. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain activity was assessed before and after each dose. The researchers also analysed the default mode network (DMN), a collection of interconnected brain areas that are crucial for memory and internal thought.


According to the fMRI results, participants′ functional connectivity in many areas of the DMN was reduced following exposure to diesel exhaust compared to filtered air. The researchers also discovered that the changes in the brain were only temporary, and that participants′ connectivity returned to normal following the exposure.


Dr. Chris Carlsten, professor and head of respiratory medicine and the Canada Research Chair in occupational and environmental lung disease at UBC, stated that people should pay attention to the air they breathe and take the necessary precautions to reduce their exposure to potentially dangerous air pollutants like automotive exhaust. He also added that experts are progressively noticing the effects of air pollution on all major organ systems, making it the biggest environmental danger to human health. 


(Source: https://theprint.in/health/traffic-pollution-affects-brain-function-study/1333223/ )

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