Researchers have found evidence of a link between living in a polluted megacity and developing Alzheimer’s. (Read my previous Alzheimer Disease posts, one with a correlation to a cynical, distrustful nature, and one looking at the syndrome’s roots early in life.) Autopsies on over 200 people showed signs of the disease in its early stages in individuals less than a year old. If this holds up, then we will have a pathway to the prevention of this horrible affliction.
MISSOULA – A University of Montana researcher and her collaborators have published a new study that reveals increased risks for Alzheimer’s and suicide among children and young adults living in polluted megacities.
“Alzheimer’s disease hallmarks start in childhood in polluted environments, and we must implement effective preventative measures early,” said [Dr. Lilian] Calderón-Garcidueñas, a physician and Ph.D. toxicologist in UM’s (University of Montana) Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “It is useless to take reactive actions decades later.”
Overall, the authors have documented an accelerated and early disease process for Alzheimer’s in highly exposed Mexico City residents. They believe the detrimental effects are caused by tiny pollution particles that enter the brain through the nose, lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and these particles damage all barriers and travel everywhere in the body through the circulatory system.
It’s terrible to think that we might be condemning newborns to a horrible death before they’ve even begun to live, but it’s encouraging to realize that we have a potential solution right in front of us.