The Adverse Effects of Air Pollution on the Nervous System

Department of Neuroscience, Health Science Institute, Dokuz Eylul University, Inciralti, 35340 Izmir, Turkey.
Journal of Toxicology 02/2012; 2012(4):782462. DOI: 10.1155/2012/782462
Source: PubMed


Exposure to ambient air pollution is a serious and common public health concern associated with growing morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the last decades, the adverse effects of air pollution on the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems have been well established in a series of major epidemiological and observational studies. In the recent past, air pollution has also been associated with diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), including stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and neurodevelopmental disorders. It has been demonstrated that various components of air pollution, such as nanosized particles, can easily translocate to the CNS where they can activate innate immune responses. Furthermore, systemic inflammation arising from the pulmonary or cardiovascular system can affect CNS health. Despite intense studies on the health effects of ambient air pollution, the underlying molecular mechanisms of susceptibility and disease remain largely elusive. However, emerging evidence suggests that air pollution-induced neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, microglial activation, cerebrovascular dysfunction, and alterations in the blood-brain barrier contribute to CNS pathology. A better understanding of the mediators and mechanisms will enable the development of new strategies to protect individuals at risk and to reduce detrimental effects of air pollution on the nervous system and mental health.

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    • "Therefore, people may practice these spiritual activities as a " lifestyle, " rather than as therapeutic sessions. Environmental toxins (including particulate air pollution) are also an issue in many Asian countries; this having a potential effect on the central nervous system (Genc et al., 2012). For example, exposure to air pollution has been found in a longitudinal study of 537 elderly Koreans to be associated with an increase in depressive symptoms (Lim et al., 2012). "
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    Asia-Pacific Psychiatry 09/2015; 7(4). DOI:10.1111/appy.12212 · 0.63 Impact Factor
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    • "Cardiopulmonary effects of air pollutants are well established (Rückerl et al. 2011), and there is a growing body of evidence that air pollution causes neuropathological effects and central nervous system disease (Block and Calderón-Garcidueñas 2009; Guxens and Sunyer 2012; Rückerl et al. 2011; Genc et al. 2012). Dementia is a neuropathological disease that is relevant in this context (Weuve 2014). "
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    Environmental Health Perspectives 07/2015; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408322 · 7.98 Impact Factor
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    • "Many evidences suggest that the central nervous system (CNS) is highly sensitive to oxidative stress, because of its high content of unsaturated phospholipids, its high metabolic rate, and low content of some antioxidant enzymes, such as catalase [4, 5], the hippocampus, substantia nigra, and striatum being the most sensitive structures [6]. Additionally, exposure to air pollution may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases [7]. Increasing exposure to environmental contaminants has attracted the attention of researchers because it plays an important role in the risk factors associated with mortality and accounts for 2.5% of all deaths in developing countries [8]. "
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