Is there a direct link between pollution and dementia? Let’s look at what we’re discussing. Dementia is a blanket term for different forms of memory loss, language loss, and brain-related changes that trigger a decline in thinking or behavior skills. They can impact relationships, feelings, and other cognitive abilities. You have probably heard of the most common type of dementia before: Alzheimer’s. It is the most well-known; however, there are others like vascular dementia or mixed dementia. Though we know that dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells, we do not know what exactly causes specific types of dementia.
Memory loss is an early sign of Alzheimer’s, and unfortunately, there are no known cures to stop or slow its progression. Despite the lack of treatment, there is some information available on how to decrease the risk of dementia and cognitive decline in the first place, such as not smoking, healthy diets, regular exercise, and mental stimulation. Read on to learn about the connection between a polluted environment and the increased risk of dementia. After this, you’ll want to make sure your lungs only breathe the cleanest air!
10. Brain aging processes increase the risk of dementia, but air pollution nearly doubles it.
Fine, particulate matter produced by power plants and vehicles is called PM2.5. It is considered an air pollutant that can reduce visibility and can cause the air to appear hazy when its levels are elevated. The smaller the particles our cells are exposed to, the higher the levels of oxidative stress caused on our DNA and other cellular structures. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, regulates inhalable particles. Furthermore, the EPA attempts to reduce emissions of pollutants to maintain national air quality standards. Most polluting particles are a result of emissions from power plants, industries, and automobiles.
In 2017, a study showed a revealing detail. Older women living in locations with high levels of PM2.5 indicated higher rates of memory loss and brain shrinkage than women residing in cleaner air. In fact, multiple studies have suggested that living in areas with PM2.5 levels higher than the EPA’s standard of 12 µg/m3 led to nearly double the usual risk of dementia in older women. Holding these findings standard, air pollution could account for almost 21% of dementia cases worldwide! It stands to reason that reducing human exposure to PM2.5 could avoid that specific risk factor for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Of course, that is easier said than done.
Dementia can cause a variety of problems for the person with it, as well as family members. It’s difficult to watch your parents, grandparents, and even aunts and uncles go through something there’s no cure for. Air pollution causes such terrible diseases. What can we as a society do to make air pollution a thing of the past? Keep reading to learn more about what can be done to stop this aggressive pollution. Furthermore, how it contributes to various illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, stroke, heart disease, lung disease, dementia, and more.
8. Studies link air pollution to cognitive impairment.
Three studies from around the world have found a link between cognitive impairment and dementia. The first study based on China and the United States saw a link that shows air pollution causes impairment in math and verbal testing. The long-term effects of air pollution show that testing in these subjects is more pronounced in older men. Cognitive impairment can lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The second study, based in England, tested 130,978 individuals aged 50 – 79. The study shows that between 2005 and 2013, 2,181 people were diagnosed with dementia when exposed to higher levels of air pollution.
7. More studies prove that air pollution affects people when exposed to higher concentrations.
A third study based in the United States was published early this year. The study worked with 998 women aged 73 – 87. Harvard Medical School, along with the University of Southern California, conducted the test. The analysis performed Magnetic Resonance Imaging and cognitive testing on each of these women to determine the amount of cognitive impairment based on air pollution risks. Researchers discovered two differences in women exposed to higher air pollution concentrations compared to those with less exposure. Women exposed to more air pollution showed a decline in learning abilities when given a list of words to remember. The women exposed to less air pollution had an easier time remembering the words on the list.
This study proves that air pollution affects women when exposed to higher concentrations of pollution. The brain atrophies as you age, but the study shows a higher level of atrophy than women with less exposure to air pollution. All three studies were conducted with the highest level of professionalism and control groups. Researchers in the third study considered all sorts of things when choosing participants. Some of the things they looked for were socioeconomic backgrounds, lifestyle choices, age, geographic regions, employment, income, and more. Nothing was left to chance when trying to prove the existence of air pollution issues linked to dementia.
It’s entirely possible that the link between a diagnosis of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease hasn’t been found yet. Researchers are working tirelessly to find the connection. That way, they can help people worldwide with these illnesses to give them their memories back. Even though more extensive research is needed, scientists believe the relationship is there. Much work needs to be done to fully understand the link between cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. That is, especially to fully understand why people get these illnesses in the first place. Please keep reading to find out what you can do to lower your risk of cognitive decline. That goes double for when it comes to air pollution around you.
5. Reduce air pollution to lower your risk of dementia.
Air pollution is a serious issue in cities worldwide, so what can you do to lower your risk of exposure? Living in large metropolitan areas puts you at the greatest risk of exposure. Luckily, there are ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and decrease the chances of exposure for you and your family. Reusing and recycling is the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint and produce a lower amount of air pollutants. Also, buying local instead of abroad allows for less pollution from trucks traveling all over the country to bring food and other items into cities.
People are used to the convenience of tossing items in the trash instead of being reused. Thus, we’ve turned into a population that contributes to air pollution instead of a society that prevents it. These quick and easy tips will lower your carbon footprint and help you avoid air pollution. It does take a village, however. If people in the world followed these simple tips, air pollution would be almost non-existent. Keep reading to learn more about what air pollution can do to your brain. Also, prepare to know the signs and symptoms of dementia to determine if it’s time to see a doctor for yourself or a family member.
Researchers and scientists believe dementia presents years before symptoms appear in men and women. That is called the Silent Phase. It led researchers to think exposure to PM 2.5 and other air pollutants could cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease even when exposed early. It is an important discovery that will help scientists further advancements in the study of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies also show that genetics may play a role in brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A New York City study found that elderly patients with a family history of dementia were more likely to have it themselves.
3. Shifting the narrative is always important for change.
Despite years of air pollution, there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint and give future generations a better chance at a pollution-free world. Everyone has a responsibility to our planet to keep it pollution-free and safe for future generations. So, what can you do to lower air pollution around the world? Reusing and recycling is the simplest way to lower your carbon footprint. As an example buying reusable straws can reduce your carbon footprint. Simple gestures such as this are the easiest way to reduce air pollution. If everyone in the world made a small gesture such as recycling instead of throwing recyclables away, air pollution would diminish.
Also, buying locally can significantly reduce air pollution. The food and products we buy daily are brought into stores using semi-trucks that contribute a great deal to our air pollution problem. Walking and riding your bike to work can also greatly reduce the number of air pollutants pushed into the air every day. If you’re unable to walk, bike, or mo-ped to work, carpooling or riding the bus are excellent alternatives to help reduce pollutants. These smart and simple ideas will help future generations — and keep our air clean and safe for ages to come.
2. Look for early signs of dementia, regardless of your location, pollution intake, or family medical history.
It’s essential to learn the early signs of dementia for your parents, grandparents, and even aunts and uncles to ensure proper care is readily available when needed. Although there is no cure for memory-related illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, there are ways to help your family members keep their memories for as long as possible. One of the earliest signs you may notice is confusion. A person with dementia could have difficulty judging what time it is or where they are. They could be at a relative’s house or the grocery store and forget where they are and why they are there.
You may notice your family member having a difficult time with memories. You might be having a conversation about a life event one day, and they won’t remember what you’re talking about or possibly remember the event differently. A person with dementia may also have difficulty remembering where they put something. That can lead to frustration, confusion, and sometimes anger. It’s important to help your family members and be there for them even if it’s challenging to go through. You may also notice a person with dementia having an arduous time making decisions. Keep reading to find out when you should see a doctor for symptoms of dementia.
It’s painful and heartbreaking to watch a family member go through these types of symptoms, and important to know when it’s time to see a doctor. Pay attention to early signs in your parents or grandparents. If you notice any, you should immediately schedule an appointment with their doctor. It’s crucial to seek help if you have any concerns. Even though there’s no cure for illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a physician can help to ease the symptoms and give your family members a sense of comfort. Just because your family member is aging, it doesn’t mean they will immediately start forgetting.
If you notice symptoms, the best thing you can do for your family member is to make an appointment to see their physician. The Alzheimer’s Association believes it is a myth that brain function gets worse as you age. A medical professional will thoroughly examine person with any of the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. That way, they can try to find the cause of their symptoms. They should discuss symptoms such as forgetfulness, anger, frustration, lowered problem-solving skills, and time management to find the reason. If a physician suspects dementia, there are ways to slow the progression of the disease to help your family members remain calm and live out their days comfortably and stress-free.