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Air pollution implicated in dementia risk

News   •   Oct 12, 2016 06:54 UTC

Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide, says WHO.

Stockholm, Sweden, October 12, 2016 – A study by a leading Scottish dementia research center published in the BMC Geriatrics journal has put exposure to air pollution on a shortlist of possible environmental factors that may increase the risk of developing dementia. A team at Edinburgh University's Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre published their research after reviewing numerous previous studies looking at environmental factors linked to dementia. 

“The new study by the Scottish Dementia Research Centre is the latest in a growing number of alarming reports pointing to the human health risks posed by air pollution that requires urgent action by governments and health agencies,” said Bengt Rittri, founder and CEO of Blueair, a world-leading innovator of indoor air purification technologies. Bengt pointed to another study carried out at Lancaster University in the UK, published in early September, where researchers said they had found toxic magnetite nanoparticles from air pollution in human brains in sizeable quantities.

WHO says 47.5 million people around the world live with dementia, which is caused by a variety of brain illnesses such as Alzheimers that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday activities. The annual cost of dementia is put at US$604 billion, according to WHO, while the number of cases are estimated to more than triple by 2050.

“Clearly we need more research and evaluation to better understand the causes of dementia and the solutions needed to reduce the risk factors,” said Bengt.

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