How Does Air Pollution Affect the Brain? »PeopleWhat

Decreased sense of smell is a symptom of some neurological diseases, and pollution has been shown to increase the risk of developing such diseases. A new study brought together findings on this topic.

They observed a connection between neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and pollution. Despite the combination of evidence, scientists have not yet figured out how airborne particles affect the brain. More recently, researchers at Penn State University; They investigated possible connections between pollution, smell, and neurological diseases. They published their findings in a journal called eLife.

In the research, scientists concentrated on the flow of CSF. CSF; It is a fluid surrounding the central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord. In the past, it was thought to be a buffer solution that protects the central nervous system, but over time scientists have discovered that this fluid has more tasks. Accordingly, it was not only a buffer for the brain, but was also transferring certain substances from the brain and spinal cord. . To date, it has not been known exactly how liquid is produced and fluid.

Diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's; they were defined as diseases caused by the accumulation of defective or incorrectly shaped proteins. Perhaps the cleaning function of CSF may play a role in this. How does airborne pollution affect CSF and the brain, and how do airborne particles reach CSF? Jordan N. Norwood, the student who took part in the study, reached the first clue on this issue. While marking the spinal fluid with a dye for the experiment, they observed that the dye in the fluid diminished through the nose. When the old research journals were examined, there were several references to this possibility. Decreases in sense of smell; it was already known to be an early symptom of some neurological diseases. For example, according to a study published in Neurology ; poor performance in odor detection tests may be a useful way of identifying Alzheimer's disease before classic symptoms appear. Interestingly, these nerves; it was the only part of the mammalian nervous system that communicated with the external environment. Expected nerves killed; Eliminated the odor detection ability of the mouse. It also significantly reduced CSF’s nasal flow.

Animals and humans consistently produce CSF. Pressure increases to prevent CSF from coming out of the body. It was observed that the pressure did not increase after the flow in the nose stopped. Researchers believe that the system will compensate for it in other ways. Maybe another way can take the surpluses. For example; The glymphatic system may play a role. As an alternaive; In order to avoid increased pressure in the central nervous system, the body may produce less CSF.

When all the findings were evaluated, the researchers hypothesized that pollution caused damage to olfactory sensing neurons. Pollution; It caused changes in the flow or production of CSF. Because CSF is vital to clear metabolic waste from the central nervous system. Removal of waste plays an important role in the development of neurological diseases. Reduced CSF recycling may be one of the factors that contribute to the accumulation of proteins and toxic metabolites that cause neurodegenerative diseases. Norwood; stated that they will work with a laboratory at the Materials Research Institute to see if jet fuel particles have the same effect.

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Author: Ayça Olcay

PeopleWhat / The Art Of Knowledge

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