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Pollution 'may result in Alzheimer's'

Pollution 'may result in Alzheimer's'
7th April 2011

Vehicle pollution could lead to Alzheimer's, new findings from a study on mice have suggested.

Short-term exposure to particles from the freeway was found to cause brain damage in mice, affecting memory and learning, according to the study published in journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Signs of brain inflammation associated with Alzheimer's disease were also seen, and neurons in developing mice did not grow as well.

Senior author Caleb Finch said that the results have led to questions about how people living in urban areas can be protected from this exposure.

"You can't see [the particles], but they are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that raises the possibility of long-term brain health consequences of freeway air," he said.

MRI scans could be used to predict which individuals are likely to develop Alzheimer's, according to new research published in journal Radiology.

Mild cognitive impairment patients whose brains exhibit a pattern of cortical thinning are more likely to have the condition, scientists have said, which could open up new proactive treatment avenues.

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