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Exposure to air pollution results brain shrinkage, says Study

A recent study revealed that there is a large influence of climate change and pollution of everyday human life. One surprising thing is that the human brain can shrink when exposed to air pollution for a long time. These findings have been published in “Stroke”, journal of the American Heart Association, but this finding is not something that is really new, since previous similar findings have been widely published. Some prior art have drawn the conclusion that the human brain can be adversely affected by air pollution. What is special is that this study is able to more accurately estimate about 46% of individuals who are more vulnerable silent stroke if they are exposed to air pollution in a certain time frame.

Elissa H. Wilker, Sc.D, lead author, emphasized the damaging effects of air pollution on the human brain, even in people who tend to be healthy. Air pollution comes from a variety of sources, including vehicle exhaust, factories, waste incineration, etc. This is a problem that must be addressed by the whole world before we are too late to deal with it. According to Elissa, brain shrinkage in certain limits can be associated with shrinkage of the brain age.

The findings though, which were published in “Stroke”, the American Heart Association journal – aren’t anything that’s really new to the field. Many scientists have thought this for some time, and they’ve even had some data to back up the notion that air pollution can impact the human brain. However, this is the most telling data of any of the finds to this point. Another find in the study was that individuals were 46% more likely to have a silent stroke, if they had been exposed to a large amount of air pollution over a long period of time.

Lead author Elissa H. Wilker, Sc.D., pointed out that, “Long-term exposure to air pollution showed harmful effects on the brain in this study, even at low levels, particularly with older people and even those who are relatively healthy.” She went on to point out that, “The magnitude of association that we observed for brain volume was similar to approximately one year of brain aging.”

In this situation, the connection is clear – and it’s becoming increasingly important to deal with these things instead of letting them simply be, and assuming that in the long term things will just be fixed. Air pollution is the result of car exhaust, factories, and much more – and something that really has to be dealt with if we want to stop the long term negative side effects that are bound to continue popping up as time goes on, and more studies like this are funded.

About Tony D. Booth

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