Scientists are finding increasing evidence for a link between air pollution and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
Polluted air contains small particles and gases that cause asthma, heart disease, inflammation, and other health issues. But proving that this pollutant mix may cause neurodegeneration has been more difficult. Air pollution has just recently been shown to harm the heart, lungs, and brain. Calderón-Garcidueñas and her colleagues studied over 200 brains of Mexico City residents aged 11 months to 40 in a 2018 Environmental Research study. All except one of the brains they examined showed signs of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers described nine clean-air-breathing control brains as "unremarkable." A growing body of research indicates that brain atrophy and cognitive problems are directly connected to how much air pollution someone has been exposed to. A limited but rising number of research link air pollution to Parkinson's disease.