Early Air Pollution Exposure Linked to Cognitive Skill Decline Later? What the Researchers Say
(Photo : Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) Decline in cognitive thinking during late-adulthood is seen as one implication of early air pollution exposure.

A recent study conducted by the University of Edinburgh research team unveiled that a high exposure to air pollution among children will lead to a deterioration of the person's cognitive skill, once he/she reaches late-adulthood period, which is around 70 years old.

What the research group discovered

A study from the Journals of Alzheimer Disease revealed that an early exposure to air pollution has an impact on the person's thinking skills later in life. The researchers from Edinburgh examined 572 persons as the population size.

The said population, which was composed of adults who have an estimated ages around 70 years old, underwent Moray House Test to measure their cognitive abilities using latent growth models and linear regression.

The said test is essential for the study as the specific ages of 11, 70, 76 and 79 years will determinte how the past exposure to air pollution affected them. Moreover, factors like sex, social status, IQ during 11 years old and inclination to smoking are also carried out in the study.

For the air pollution modelling, researchers used EMEP4UK Atmospheric Chemistry transport model. The said model will be focused on measuring concentrations of the particulate matter, PM2.5  in five time periods (1935, 1950, 1970, 1980, 1990) starting from 1935 up to the present year.

The results was not that far-reaching according to the researchers, but they noted that an early exposure to air pollution was linked to decreased thinking capability of the people in the late stage of their life.

The Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Center at Ediburgh, Dr. Tom Russ, reported that this was the first time that the findings about air pollution exposure of the children will have an effect on their brain after several decades, News Medical reported. He added that the study will aid the future generations to avoid the possible risk of acquiring dementia when they grow up.

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The Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study was the basis for the extension of the study, where the participants born in 1936 were the same respondents during the 1947 Scottish Mental Survey.

The researchers have been exploring the Lothian Birth Cohorts since 1999 to calculate the cognitive ability of the person which as time goes by, changes throughout the years.

Early Exposures to Air Pollution

In 2018, the World Health Organization reported that the children will likely be born lighter and more premature when their mothers are exposed to air pollution during their pregnancy. It was seen in the report that polluted air resulted to a decline in neurodevelopment and cognitive skills, which could be associated with childhood cancer and asthma. Later, more serious diseases like cardiovascular diseases can be obtained by the children who are heavily exposed in air pollution.

While people in majority knows that a polluted air can only be inhaled outside through gases coming from factories and smokes, air pollution can also happen even inside the houses. Young children will likely ingest polluted air in the form of fuels used for cooking.

For the children to avoid air pollution, make sure they stay away from chemical sprays and smokers. In going to a nearby place, the best thing to do is to walk or ride a bike to avoid further gas emissions.

Additionally, make sure that your parents regularly clean their automobile before going to work or to other places, so fuel emissions will release less pollution. Also, remember to save your electricity so that the amount of greenhouse gases will be lessened.

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Written by Joen Coronel

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