Air pollution can significantly increase the risk of memory problems in the elderly, reveals a new study.
German researchers have found that women who had lived near busy roads for at least 20 years were more likely to show signs of mild cognitive impairment, early memory problems that may lead to dementia.
During the study, a team from Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf measured background levels of air pollution and the women's addresses from distances from busy roads that carried more than 10,000 cars a day.hey found that for women aged under 74 the nearer there lived to a busy road the worse they performed on the cognition tests.
"These results indicate that chronic exposure to traffic-related PM may be involved in the development of mild cognitive impairment and since mild cognitive impairment is a transition state between normal aging and dementia, more research should be conducted with these women," the Telegraph quoted the research paper as saying.
It is believed the fine particles in air pollution can pass through the lungs and lodge in the brain where they cause inflammation linked to dementia.