The exposure of a person to bad air or air pollution could significantly result to health deterioration. More particularly, bad air can affect the brain function resulting in the occurrence of different cognitive dysfunction especially seen among the aging population. Research studies associated poor thinking and memory problems among the elderly as associated from their exposure to air pollution in addition to the natural cognitive response of the body to the aging process. A recent study from the Gerontological Society of America revealed that the air we breath could cause damage to the brain. Statistics showed that people living in a polluted area are likely develop decreased brain function as they age as reported by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Because of the vulnerability of the elderly population to air pollution, they are more likely to suffer from brain damage upon their exposure to unhealthy air. There are other potential health hazards that arise from air pollution aside from causing brain damage. Cardiovascular and respiratory problems are also commonly associated with exposure to unhealthy air or air pollution. Apparently, particulate matters composed of particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and those smaller than this size could cause deposits in the lungs when inhaled and possibly in the brain as well. As a result, these deposits could impede the proper functioning of the lungs, heart and the brain. People who are susceptible to being exposed to air pollution tends to be at risk of reduced ability to remember and think.
Tests were conducted among people who are exposed to bad air and most of them produced a poor cognitive function test results. Several tests were carried out and it appears that the thinking process of an individual slows down more quickly when one breathes bad air. The brain ages at least three years older when fine air particulate matter invades the brain and causes about a 0.36 drop in the cognitive function score in cognitive function tests.
The Ohio State University indicated that air pollution has a significant role in causing learning and memory problems. Bad air is even associated with depression. In the research study that was published in the Molecular Psychiatry Journal, mice were used as a test subject and was exposed to polluted air with fine particulate matter that is comparable to the pollution seen in cities. The outcome of the clinical research showed that exposure to bad air affects the quantity of dendrites that transmit neuronal signals to process information that gets fewer in numbers. The cell complexity is also diminished in the hippocampal area which is the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling and managing the memory and learning processes and depression.
It has been concluded that bad air could adversely affect the health of the brain in humans with a troubling implication as it affects the ability of the brain to process information that is needed in analysis, thinking and memory. As the particulate matters from the bad air enter the brain, it could also cause inflammation in the brain that could induce depression and behavioral responses.
While most of the clinical studies were conclusive on the unhealthy effects of bad air to the brain in the elderly population, a study made by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health in five year old children produce outcomes that significantly show how exposure to air pollution could affect the IQ level of the children in this group age. There is a fall of four points lower on the IQ of children who are exposed to air pollution.
It is thus important to avoid air pollution and reduce your exposure to it in order to protect your brain against the unhealthy risks involved. Apart from individual preventive measures by avoiding exposure to bad air, it is necessary to do something about the causes and sources of air pollutants that increases the risk of air pollution and its health risks. You should be able to keep a healthy air indoors to improve the quality of air your brain is exposed to.