A Report from Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2021: Improving Air Quality May Reduce the Risk of Dementia

A Report from Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2021: Improving Air Quality May Reduce the Risk of Dementia

The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC-2021) grandly opened on July 26, 2021. AAIC is one of the world's largest and most influential international conferences focusing on the scientific research on dementia. AAIC was held both online and on site in Denver, USA this year. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly and has become a major threat to their health and an important economic burden to society. Mitigating AD requires not only effective and innovative therapies, but also reliable tools for early diagnosis and preventive measures that reach a wide range of people.

 

Improved air quality significantly reduces the risk of dementia

Several previous studies have shown that dementia is associated with amyloid protein deposit in the brain due to long-term exposure to air pollution. However, no studies have confirmed whether eliminating air pollution reduces the risk of dementia and AD.

At AAIC 2021, research conducted in the U.S. and France revealed for the first time the link between reduced air pollution and reduced risk of dementia. The research by the USC team showed that older women living in areas where PM2.5 (an indicator of fine particle pollution) levels were more than 10% lower than the standard set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a 14% lower risk of dementia from 2008 to 2018. The older women living in areas where levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2, a traffic-related pollutant) were more than 10% lower than the standard had a 26% lower risk of dementia!

The research showed that these benefits were independent of age and education level of the participants and whether they had cardiovascular disease.

Similar results were obtained in a research conducted in France, which showed that reducing the PM2.5 indicator by 1 µg/m3 air volume was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of dementia and a 17% reduction in the risk of AD.

"For a long time, we have known that air pollution is harmful to our brains and overall health." Dr Claire Sexton of the Alzheimer's Society said, "It's exciting that we now find data showing that improving air quality promises to reduce the risk of dementia. These data show the importance of reducing air pollution."

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Post time: Nov-16-2022