Higher levels of air pollution were associated with an increased risk for amyloid-beta pathology in a new study of older adults with cognitive impairment.
“Many studies have now found a link between air pollution and clinical outcomes of dementia or cognitive decline,” lead author Leonardo Iaccarino, PhD, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, told Medscape Medical News. “But this study is now showing a clear link between air pollution and a biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease: it shows a relationship between bad air quality and pathology in the brain.
“We believe that exposure to air pollution should be considered as one factor in the lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s,” he added. “We believe it is a significant determinant. Our results suggest that if we can reduce occupational and residential exposure to air pollution, then this could help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.”