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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:20 AM

Bad Air Means Bad News for Seniors' Brainpower

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116161021.htm

ScienceDaily (Nov. 16, 2012) Living in areas of high air pollution can lead to decreased cognitive function in older adults, according to new research presented in San Diego at The Gerontological Society of America's (GSA) 65th Annual Scientific Meeting.

This finding is based on data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Health and Retirement Study. The analysis was conducted by Jennifer Ailshire, PhD, a National Institute on Aging postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Biodemography and Population Health and the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California.

"As a result of age-related declines in health and functioning, older adults are particularly vulnerable to the hazards of exposure to unhealthy air," Ailshire said. "Air pollution has been linked to increased cardiovascular and respiratory problems, and even premature death, in older populations, and there is emerging evidence that exposure to particulate air pollution may have adverse effects on brain health and functioning as well."

This is the first study to show how exposure to air pollution influences cognitive function in a national sample of older men and women. It suggests that fine air particulate matter -- composed of particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller, thought to be sufficiently small that if inhaled they can deposit deep in the lung and possibly the brain -- may be an important environmental risk factor for reduced cognitive function.

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Reply Bad Air Means Bad News for Seniors' Brainpower (Original post)
xchrom Nov 2012 OP
rurallib Nov 2012 #1
TM99 Nov 2012 #2

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:00 AM

1. I will attest to that.

I can tell when the crap in the air is just by my memory and vocabulary.
Normally, i have a very good memory but on days with high pollution, I have days when I can't even remember the names of close friends. It is scary.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:02 AM

2. This just doesn't affect seniors

I have a now chronic medical condition. I live in a city which has a 'brown cloud' for most of the late fall through early spring. This pollution reeks extra havoc on my already taxed system. I have far less energy. I have greater circulation problems. And yes, I notice on High Alert days that I can have some serious cognitive effects such as brain fog, little lapses in short term memory (now where did I put those keys?), etc.

This is a very big problem that I am really surprised so little attention is given to in recent years. Perhaps now that Obama does not have to worry about re-election, we can get some Federal assistance again after Bush's gutting of environmental and EPA standards.

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