Tiny air pollution particles - the type that mainly comes from power plants and automobiles - may greatly increase the chance of dementia, including Alzheimers disease, according to USC-led research. Although the link between air pollution and Alzheimers disease is a new scientific frontier, we now have evidence that air pollution, like tobacco, is dangerous to the aging brain.
The study, the first of its kind conducted in the U.S., provides the inaugural scientific evidence of a critical Alzheimers risk gene possibly interacting with air particles to accelerate brain aging, said Jiu-Chiuan Chen, co-senior author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Our state-of-the-art aerosol technologies, called particle concentrators, essentially take the air of a typical urban area and convert it to the air of a freeway or a heavily polluted city like Beijing, said Sioutas, co-author of the study. The air pollution study, the Womens Health Initiative and WHIMS are collectively supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health; the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc.; St.