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.

Download full-text


Available from: Stefan H Fuss, Oct 04, 2015
1 Follower
39 Reads
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lifestyle-focused health programs are growing in interest throughout Western society, and a range of lifestyle factors are known to enhance both physical and mental health. However, it remains largely unknown as to whether this approach is salient for the Asian context. The major components of integrative lifestyle-focused health programs to enhance mental and physical health are considered to include the evidence-based adoption of physical activity and exercise, dietary modification, general psychoeducation, adequate relaxation/sleep and social interaction, use of mindfulness techniques, the reduction of substance use, attention of intersecting environmental factors, and the potential use of motivation and goal-setting techniques. This paper outlines an overview of the evidence underpinning these elements, and discusses potential barriers and challenges, and what logistical considerations may need to be addressed in the implementation of such programs within the context of Asian cultures.
    Asia-Pacific Psychiatry 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/appy.12212 · 0.63 Impact Factor
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exposure to ambient air pollution is suspected to cause cognitive effects, but a prospective cohort is needed to study exposure to air pollution at the home address and the incidence of dementia. We aimed to assess the association between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and dementia incidence in a major city in northern Sweden. Data on dementia incidence over a 15-year period were obtained from the longitudinal Betula study. Traffic air pollution exposure was assessed with a Land Use Regression Model with a spatial resolution of 50 m x 50 m. Annual mean nitrogen oxide levels at the residential address of the participants at baseline (the start of follow-up) was used as a marker for long-term exposure to air pollution. Out of 1806 participants at baseline, 191 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease during follow-up, and 111 were diagnosed with vascular dementia. Participants in the highest exposure group were more likely to be diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia), with a Hazard Ratio (HR) of 1.43 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.998, 2.05 for the highest versus lowest quartile). The estimates were similar for Alzheimer's disease (HR 1.38) and vascular dementia (HR 1.47). The HR for dementia associated for the third quartile versus the lowest quartile was 1.48 (95% CI: 1.03, 2.11). A sub-analysis that excluded a younger sample that had been re-tested after only 5 years of follow-up suggested stronger associations with exposure than in the full cohort (HR = 1.71; 95% CI: 1.08, 2.73 for the highest versus lowest quartile). If the associations we observed are causal, then air pollution from traffic might be an important risk factor for vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 07/2015; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408322 · 7.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "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]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The exposure to low doses of ozone induces an oxidative stress state, which is involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Forkhead box O (FoxO) family of transcription factors are activated by oxidative signals and regulate cell proliferation and resistance to oxidative stress. Our aim was to study the effect of chronic exposure to ozone on the activation of FoxO 1a and FoxO 3a in the hippocampus of rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into six groups and exposed to 0.25 ppm of ozone for 0, 7, 15, 30, 60, and 90 days. After treatment, the groups were processed for western blotting and immunohistochemistry against FoxO 3a, Mn SOD, cyclin D2, FoxO 1a, and active caspase 3. We found that exposure to ozone increased the activation of FoxO 3a at 30 and 60 days and expression of Mn SOD at all treatment times. Additionally, increases in cyclin D2 from 7 to 90 days; FoxO 1a at 15, 30, and 60 days; and activate caspase 3 from 30 to 60 days of exposure were noted. The results indicate that ozone alters regulatory pathways related to both the antioxidant system and the cell cycle, inducing neuronal reentry into the cell cycle and apoptotic death.
    Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity 05/2014; 2014(1):805764. DOI:10.1155/2014/805764 · 3.36 Impact Factor
Show more