Home Health Breathing Fumes While in Gridlock May Be Ruining Your Brain: Study

Breathing Fumes While in Gridlock May Be Ruining Your Brain: Study

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Getting stuck in traffic on the I-5, miles of uncleared traffic, your blood pressure soaring, your heart beating so fast, you might want to punch the roof of your car. But that’s not why this mediocre Los Angeles situation is bad for your health. new researchWhat is the real reason? Breathing in just average levels of traffic pollution can impair brain function in just two hours, new research reveals.

Emerging evidence for a relationship between air pollution and cognition is found in the first controlled experiments, showing changes in brain network connectivity with such environmental exposures. The results, from researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria in Canada, were reported this week. Environmental hygiene. “For decades, scientists have thought that the brain may be protected from the harmful effects of air pollution,” said Chris Carsten. Chair of the Canadian Research Committee on Occupational and Environmental Lung Diseases at UBC. Results revealed this week may prove this wrong.

In this study, 25 adults were exposed to diesel exhaust and filtered air at various intervals, and brain activity was measured before and after each exposure. Specifically, the researchers examined the brain’s default mode network, a series of interconnected regions. It is the key to memory and inner thinking. Participants had reduced functional connectivity in extensive areas of the DMN after exposure to diesel exhaust compared to filtered air.

“We know that changes in DMN functional connectivity are associated with cognitive decline and symptoms of depression, so it’s worrying to see traffic pollution disrupt these same networks.” , Professor of Psychology at the University of Victoria and first author of the study. “More research is needed to fully understand the impact of these changes on function, but they can impair people’s ability to think and work.”

The results of this study are highly relevant for people in California, which has the most congested traffic in the world.Ah December 2021 Survey Not only does LA have the 6th worst traffic in the world, but drivers in the city lose 62 hours a year to traffic jams, according to transportation company INRIX. For I-5 South, INRIX’s 2021 Global Traffic Scorecard states that it the busiest highway Nationwide.

But don’t panic. It turns out that the neurological effects of diesel exhaust are temporary. According to researchBrain activity in each subject exposed to diesel exhaust, but not filtered air, returned to normal. I couldn’t explain the effect on the brain.

Carsten adds that it’s best to minimize your exposure to traffic pollution, and you can take steps to protect yourself.

“People might want to think twice the next time they’re stuck in traffic with the windows closed,” says Carlsten. “It’s important to make sure your car’s air filter is working properly. If you’re walking or biking on a busy street, consider detouring to a less-trafficked route. Please give me.”

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