Study: Air pollution exposure may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease risk


Older adults exposed to air pollution might have a heightened risk of abnormal “plaque” accumulation in the brain, a new study suggests.

Plaques refer to clumps of protein called beta-amyloid that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In the new study, researchers found that among older adults with memory and thinking problems, those exposed to higher levels of air pollution were more likely to show plaque buildup on brain scans.

The findings do not prove air pollution causes plaques or dementia, said lead researcher Leonardo Iaccarino, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco’s Memory and Aging Center.

But the results add to a body of research suggesting that air pollution is a risk factor for dementia.

A recent study, for example, found that older Americans living in polluted ZIP codes had higher odds of being hospitalized for dementia or Parkinson’s disease than people

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Childhood lead exposure linked to lower IQ, reduced brain development in midlife, researchers find


Nov. 17 (UPI) — People exposed to lead during childhood shows signs of reduced brain development — and lower IQs — well into adulthood, a study published Tuesday by JAMA found.

The analysis of 564 adults with documented lead exposure at age 11 revealed that their IQ scores declined two points for every 5 micrograms per deciliter — a little over 3 ounces — of the substance in their blood, the data showed.

Study participants at age 11 years had an average of roughly 11 mcg. per deciliter of lead in their bloodstream, the researchers said. Lead levels of above 5 mcg. per deciliter are considered above normal, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The lower IQ was attributed to lessened brain development caused by lead exposure, the researchers said.

“By now we know quite well that children exposed to lead experience disrupted brain development —

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Curb exposure or risk restrictions: Health officials warn of ‘impending crisis’ as COVID-19 infection rates accelerate


Seven-day rolling average case counts show increases in Eastern (top) and Western (bottom) Washington across age groups. (Washington Department of Health)

Washington state and local health officials on Tuesday gave the public what was essentially an ultimatum: Take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or we’ll have to revisit a return to more stringent social and economic restrictions.

“There has been an accelerated growth in cases in the past two weeks,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, Washington’s state health officer, during an online briefing. The rise is being seen in Western and Eastern Washington and among all age groups. “Ideally we should all stop socializing for the next several weeks,” Lofy said.

As COVID cases break records and keep rising, why no new restrictions in Seattle region?

Hospital admissions are increasing, and health officials are particularly anxious about the Thanksgiving holiday, which is a little more than two

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