Scientists at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in the United States have shown that urban air pollution associated with transport is one of the main threats to the brain of children and adults. This was announced in a press release on MedicalXpress.
The study involved 147 children aged 12 years who underwent magnetic resonance imaging to obtain anatomical images of the brain. During their first year of life, they were exposed to varying degrees of exposure to airborne aerosols, high or low, as determined by analysis of samples taken in 27 locations in the city of Cincinnati.
Experts have found that polluted air causes a decrease in the volume of gray matter and the thickness of the cortical layer. Although the percentage of loss is much less than in neurodegenerative diseases, this effect can affect the development of various mental and physical processes. The gray matter includes areas of the human brain that are involved in motor control and sensory perception, such as vision and hearing.
Contamination causes a 3-4 percent loss of gray matter in areas such as the frontal and parietal lobes and the cerebellum. Changes can be irreversible, that is, persist for an unlimited time. The results of the study confirm earlier findings that dirty air contributes to neurodegenerative diseases and disorders of the nervous system.