Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that exposure to air pollution early in life can lead to changes in brains of mice. In a test conducted, it was found that the enlargement of brain areas that are typically seen in schizophrenia or autism patients was a possibility among those exposed to pollution.
The research also showed that ultrafine pollution particulate matter can embed themselves in the lungs and cause several respiratory health problems. In fact, the International Agency for Research (IARC) on Cancer had recently classified outdoor air pollution as a carcinogen.
Deborah Cory-Slechta, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester and lead author of the study commented on the research that the findings have added to the evidence that air pollution may play a role in autism, as well as in other neuro developmental disorders.
Researchers examined brains of a set of mice after 24 hours after being exposed to pollution. They found inflammation in almost all regions of its brain. It was seen that the white matter that normally surrounds the ventricles hadn’t fully developed.
Cory-Slechta has been quoted as saying that inflammation had damaged those brain cells and prevented that region of the brain from developing, and the ventricles simply expanded to fill the space.
It was also found that all the damages caused by air pollution to the brain is permanent and an increase in glutamate levels, which is seen in humans with autism, was revealed.
The study was funded by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
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