Transplanted Brain Cells Survive without Anti-Rejections Drugs

Through experiments using mice, researchers have developed a method to successfully transplant a particular kind of protective brain cells without the use for life long anti-rejection drugs. The team at Johns Hopkins Medicine, have selectively circumvented the immune response against foreign cells which allows for transplanted cells to survive and even thrive and protect brain tissue after immune suppressing drugs have been discontinued.

A significant obstacle to the ability to replace brain cells is the mammalian immune system. The immune systems works by quickly identifying non self or self tissues and then mounting attacks to destroy foreign or non self invaders. This is beneficial when targeting viruses and bacteria, however it is a significant hurdle for transplanted organs, tissues or cells which are also flagged for destruction.

Traditional anti rejection medications that unspecifically and broadly tamp down the immune system at once frequently work to fend off tissue rejection. This leaves the patient vulnerable to infection and a variety of other side effects. Patients need to continue with these drugs indefinitely.

The Johns Hopkins Medicine team sought out ways to manipulate T cells which are the immune system’s elite infection fighting force that goes after foreign invaders. Specifically, they focused on a series of so called costimulatory signals that T cells must encounter in order to start an attack.

These particular signals are in place to help ensure the immune system cells don’t go rogue by attacking the body’s own healthy tissues. The idea is to exploit the normal tendencies of these signals as a means of training the immune system to eventually accept transplanted cells as self permanently.

To accomplish this, the team used two antibodies, CTLA4-lf and anti-CD154 which keep T cells from initiating an attack when they encounter foreign particles by binding to the surface of the T cell which essentially blocks the go signal. This particular combination was previously used successfully to block the rejection of solid organ transplants in animals, however had not been tested for cell transplants to repair the myelin in the brain.

In a significant set of experiments, the team injected the brains of mice with the protection glial cells which produce the myelin sheath that surrounds neurons. These very specific cells were genetically engineered to glow so that the team could keep track of them.

The glial cells were transplanted into three mice types. This included mice that were genetically engineered to not form the glial cells which create the myelin sheath, normal mice and mice that were bred to be able to mount a response of the immune system. They used the antibodies to block an immune response, concluding treatment after six days.

Each day the team used a specialized camera that could detect the glowing cells and capture pictures of the mice brains. They were particularly looking for the relative absence or presence of the transplanted glial cells. Cells that had been transplanted in the control mice that had not received the antibody treatment immediately started to die off. Their glow was no longer seen by the camera by day 21.

The mice which had received the antibody treatment were able to maintain significant levels of the transplanted glial cells for more than 203 days. This indicated they were not killed by the mouse’s T cells even in treatment absence.

The fact that any glow had remained showed the team that cells had survived the transplantation even long after stopping the treatment. This was interpreted as a success in selectively blocking the immune system’s T cells from killing the cells that had been transplanted.

The next step for the team was to see whether the transplanted glial cells would survive well enough to do what glial cells typically do in the brain which is create the myelin sheath. To accomplish this, the team looked for key structural differences between the mouse brains which contained thriving glial cells and those without using MRI imaging. The team discovered in the images the cells in the treatment mice were indeed populating the appropriate portions of the brain.

The results confirmed that the cells that had been transplanted had the ability to thrive and assume their normal function which is to protect the brain neurons. The results are preliminary, however the team was able to deliver these cells and allow them to thrive in a localized part of the mice brains.

For the future, the teams hopes to combine their findings with additional studies on cell delivery methods to the brain to help in repairing the brain on a more global scale.

To view the original scientific study click below

Induction of immunological tolerance to myelinogenic glial-restricted progenitor allografts.

Is it Better to Work Out Before or After Breakfast?

A new study has found that just be changing when you eat and exercise, you can have achieve better control of blood sugar levels. The study by health scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Bath, shows that exercising before breakfast burns more fat which improves the body’s response to insulin and can lower people’s risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

This six week study involved thirty men who were classified as overweight or obese and compared the results from two intervention groups. One group were those who are breakfast then exercised. The other control group were those who made no lifestyle changes. The results showed that people who exercised before breakfast burned double the amount of fat compared to the group who exercised after breakfast.

The researchers found that increased fat use is mostly due to lower insulin levels during exercise when a person has fasted overnight. This means that they can use more fat from their fat tissues and the fat found in their muscles as fuel. To test the proof of the principle, the first study involved only men. Future studies will look to translate their findings for different groups of people including women.

While the results did not lead to any differences in weight loss over the six week period, it did show positive and profound effects on the participant’s health. Their bodies were better able to respond to insulin which kept blood sugar levels under control which can potentially lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The team behind the study sought to focus on the impact of the fat stores in muscles for people who either worked out after or before eating and the effect the timing had on insulin response to eating. This study built on emerging evidence that timing of meals in relation to when a person’s exercises can shift how effective exercise is.

The results suggest that by changing the timing of when a person eats in relation to when they choose to exercise, very positive changes to overall health can occur. The group of men who exercised prior to breakfast increased their ability to respond to insulin which is remarkable given that both groups lost a similar amount of weight and both groups gained a similar amount of fitness. The only difference between the groups was the timing of breakfast.

The scientists also found that the muscles from the group of men who exercised prior to breakfast were more responsive to insulin in spite of identical food intake and training sessions. The muscles from this group showed increased key proteins, specifically those which are involved in transporting glucose from the blood stream to muscles.

The study shows that engaging in exercise after an overnight fasted state can increase the health benefits without a change in duration, intensity, or perception of their effort. The team now look to explore the longer term effects of the timing of exercise and eating and whether women will show similar benefits to those found with the men in the study.

To view the original scientific study click below

Lipid metabolism links nutrient-exercise timing to insulin sensitivity in men classified as overweight or obese.

Plastic Teabags and Possible Health Effects

While many people are doing their part in reducing plastic use, there are some tea manufacturers who are actually moving in the opposite direction. Some tea producers are replacing the traditional paper teabags with plastic teabags. A new study has found that those plastic teabags may come with a bit of micro and nano sized plastics which are shed from the bag. What is unknown at this time, is what possible effects on health could come from ingesting these particles

Plastics break down into tiny microplastics and even smaller nanoplastics over time. Nanoplastics are less then 100 nanometers in size which is less than the diameter of a human hair. Scientists have discovered these microscopic particles in aquatic organisms, in the environment and even in the food supply.

Microplastics are found everywhere. Much of our food is wrapped in plastic and often ends up in our food. It also leaches out into the environment. Plastics can end up in things like canned fish, sea salt, honey and chicken.

The study team wondered if these recently introduced plastic teabags could be releasing micro and nanoplastics into the tea during brewing. They also wanted to explore possible effects of the released particles on small aquatic organisms known as water fleas. These are model organisms commonly used in environmental studies.

To conduct the analysis, the team bought four different varieties of commercial teas which were packaged in plastic teabags. They opened the bags, removed the tea leaves then washed the empty bags. They then heated the plastic teabags in containers of water to stimulate the brewing conditions.
To ensure cutting the teabag did not influence the number of particles released, they also used several teabags that had not been emptied or rinsed out.

For each brand tested, three emptied teabags were placed in a clean, single glass vial and then steeped in 10 milliliters of 95 degree Celsius water for a period of five minutes. The teabags were then removed and the water poured into another clean glass container.

By using electron microscopy, the research team took images of the teabags both before and after steeping and their chemical composition analyzed. After brewing, the teabag water was fixed to silicon wafers and dried and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis was used to count the particles.

They found that the teabags showed significant cracking and degradation after the steeping process. They found that just a single plastic teabag at a brewing temperature of 95 degrees Celsius released about 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles into the brewed water.

These levels are thousands of times higher than those that had been previously reported in other foods. Currently it is estimated that people consume over 74,000 particles of microplastics per year. According to the new study, there is almost 200,000 times that amount in a single cup of plastic teabag tea. The team estimated that a tea drinker would swallow 2.3 million micron sized and 14.7 billion submicron particles in a single cup of tea.

In a different experiment, the team treated water fleas with a variety of doses of the micro and nanoplastics from the teabags. The fleas survived, however they did show some behavioral and anatomical abnormalities.

More research is needed for scientists to determine if drinking tea laced with plastic could lead to negative health effects on people. Very little research has been conducted on human health and the toxicity of microplastics. If these products remain on the shelf, there needs to be a big push do conduct more toxicity tests.

To avoid the possibility, the best bet is to choose paper teabags or loose leaf tea. However, some paper teabags are reinforced with plastic so one needs to do their homework to insure they are purchasing 100% paper teabags.

To view the original scientific study click below

Plastic Teabags Release Billions of Microparticles and Nanoparticles into Tea

Napping for Heart Health

A new study has shown that naps are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Occasional napping can cut a person’s risk of strokes, heart disease and heart attack by half when compared to those who don’t nap.

The health benefits of napping have been debated for years. Earlier research was inconclusive. Many argue that the studies failed to consider frequency of napping as an important factor.

The research team at the University of California collected data from almost 3,500 randomly selected residents of Lausanne, Switzerland between the ages of 35 and 70. They analyzed the associations between average nap duration and nap frequency effects on the risk of cardiovascular disease over a 5 year period which indicated some interesting trends.

About 58% of the participants did not take naps at all. One in five participants took 1 to 2 occasional naps on a weekly basis and this was associated with a 48% decrease in the risk of a cardiovascular event. One in 5 who were frequent nappers of 3 to 7 naps on a weekly basis, who tended to be male and older, also weighed more, slept longer at night, smoked often, reported more daytime sleepiness and were more likely to have sleep apnea, had a 67% increase in risk of heart disease.

However, when the team took into account lifestyle; cardiovascular risk factors such as age, hours of sleep per night, and disease risks; and sociodemographic, the risk for cardiovascular disease among occasional nappers disappeared.

Initially, frequent napping seemed to increase a person’s risk of heart disease by 67%. That disappeared after taken into account the other factors. This suggests that napping may have a positive impact on cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, no associations with cardiovascular events were found for length of naps – from 5 minutes to 1 hour and more.

The study was observational so it can’t be assumed that napping directly contributed to the decrease risk of heart disease. However, it does contribute to the ongoing debates over health benefits due to napping. Sleep researchers have never completely defined a nap and different cultures look at naps differently. Some sleep researchers say a 20 to 30 minute nap in the early afternoon is the perfect nap.

The study also suggest that might not only be the duration of the naps, but also the frequency that matters. The study of napping is very challenging given it is largely dependent on data. There remains many more questions than answers, however it is time to begin unveiling the power naps may provide for a supercharged heart!

To view the original scientific study click below

Association of napping with incident cardiovascular events in a prospective cohort study.

Humans Have Ability to Regrow Joint Cartilage

Researchers have discovered, contrary to popular belief, that human joint cartilage can repair itself. It does it in a manner similar to that used by creatures such as zebrafish and salamanders. This finding could potentially lead to treatments for osteoarthritis which is the most common disorder of joints in the world.

The research team identified a mechanism for repair of cartilage that seems to be more robust in ankle joints and less so in hips. They believe that further understanding of this salamander like regenerative capacity in humans combined with the critically missing components of this regulatory circuit, might provide a foundation for new approaches for joint tissue repair and even whole human limbs.

The team created a way to determine the age of proteins through internal molecular clocks which are integral to amino acids. These amino acids convert one form to another with predictable regularity.

Proteins which are newly created in tissue have very few or no amino acid conversions. Older proteins actually have many. Through understanding this process, the team was able to use sensitive mass spectrometry to identify when key proteins found in human cartilage, including collagens, were young, middle aged or old.

The team discovered that cartilage age depends largely on where it resides in the body. Cartilage found in the ankles is young, middle aged in the knee and older in the hips. This correlation between the location of cartilage in the body and age aligns with how repair of limbs occurs in certain animals which more readily regenerates at the furthest tips such as the ends of tails and legs.

Additionally, the findings also explain why injuries to the knees and especially the hips, take a long time to heal and often times develop into arthritis. Ankle injuries typically heal much quicker and are less prone to becoming severely arthritic.

The team also learned that molecules which are known as microRNA regulate this process. These microRNAs are much more active in animals that are known for tail, fin or limb repair including zebrafish, salamanders, and African fresh water fish and lizards.

Humans also have these microRNAs…an evolutionary artifact which can provide humans the ability for repair of joint tissue. Similar to animals, microRNA activity is significantly different depending on its location. It is highest in ankles compared to the knees and hips and also higher in the top layer of cartilage as compared to deeper levels of cartilage.

The team explains that the regulators of regeneration in the limbs of salamanders appears to also be the controllers of repair of joint tissue in human limbs. They are calling it the “inner salamander” capacity. They believe microRNAs could be developed as treatments that might prevent, slow or even reverse arthritis.

They believe there is the ability to boost these regulators to fully regenerate cartilage that has degenerated in an arthritic joint. By figuring out what regulators are missing compared with salamanders, they may be able to add the missing components back and then develop a way to regenerate part or even all of an injured human limb. The team believes this is a fundamental mechanism for repair that could be applied not only to cartilage, but also many tissue types.

To view the original scientific study click below

Analysis of “old” proteins unmasks dynamic gradient of cartilage turnover in human limbs.

Combat a Sedentary Lifestyle with More Time Standing

Humans are not meant to spend a great portion of their day sitting. However, a lot of people do spend even their entire days moving from chair to chair. A recent study has found that sitting can lead to a variety of health issues.

The study conducted by a team from the University of Granada (UGR), recommends that people spend more of their time standing which will help increase energy expenditure which can help them avoid health problems which are associated with a sedentary lifestyle. The study also quantifies how many extra calories a person will burn when they remain standing…45 calories more than in a sedentary state every six hours.

For the study, 53 adults were split into two groups…energy savers and energy spenders which were dependent on how much energy a person typically used when switching from lying down or sitting to standing up. While the team wasn’t quite sure why some people spend more energy than others, one factor did seem to appear to be muscle mass. The people with more muscle mass used more energy than those with less.

Energy spenders burn about 10% more energy when they switch from lying or sitting to standing. Energy savers consume very little energy in activities and the difference between lying or sitting or standing is practically nil for them.

It is really important for people to change their position. Even if a person is to get up, take 10 steps and then sit down again, it appears the effects of a sedentary lifestyle could be greatly reduced.

The research team recommends the widespread adoption of height adjustable standing desks in workplaces. These type of desks are very common in Nordic countries and the team suggests these types of desks be utilized around the globe to help reduce the risk of health issues.

The team also recommends educating school age children and young people and their teachers about the importance of avoiding long periods of time sitting down. More standing can considerably help reduce the negative consequences of sedentary lifestyle choices which can lead to obesity, excess weight and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

To view the original scientific study click below

Energy expenditure differences across lying, sitting, and standing positions in young healthy adults.

Drink Tea for Brain Health

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have revealed through a recent study that people who drink tea regularly have better organized brain regions compared to non tea drinkers. These brain regions are associated with healthy cognitive function and protective effects against age related decline in brain organization.

The research was conducted with collaborators from the University of Essex and the University of Cambridge. Earlier studies have shown that intake of tea is beneficial to human health and the positive effects include cardiovascular disease prevention and mood improvement. In fact, the results shown from a longitudinal study showed that daily intake of tea can reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older people by 50%.

Following these earlier studies, the team set out to further explore the direct effect tea could have on brain networks. They recruited 36 adults aged 60 and above. They gathered data about the lifestyle, health and psychological well being. They also underwent neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This particular study was carried out from 2015 to 2018.

After analyzing the study participant’s cognitive performance and MRI results, the team discovered that people who consumed either oolong tea, black tea or green tea at least four times per week for about 25 years, had regions of the brain that were interconnected in more efficient ways.

When the connections between regions of the brain are more structured, processing of information can be performed much more efficiently. The current results which relate to brain network indirectly support the previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regularly drinking tea are the result of improved brain organization which is brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.

The team plan to further examine the effects of tea as well as bioactive compounds found in tea and their effect on cognitive decline.

To view the original scientific study click below

Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation.

Canine Pals and Longevity

According to new research, not only do dogs give humans boundless joy and love, but can also improve mental health, and dog owners were found to live longer after suffering a stroke or heart attack. This is great news with more evidence that supports the fact that dog’s offer tangible health benefits to humans.

The new evidence comes from a meta analysis of almost 70 years of global research along with a new Swedish study of stroke and heart attack survivors spanning a decade.

The first meta analysis study drew upon data from close to 4 million people living in the U.K., the U.S., New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Scandinavia. The composite analysis included 10 studies with follow ups ranging from one year to 22 years.

It was discovered that dog ownership was associated with a 24% decrease in risk of dying by any cause and a 64% reduction in risk of death after a heart attack in particular. If a dog owner had experienced a stroke and heart attack, that person saw a 31% decrease in risk of death compared to those who experienced a cardiovascular without owning a dog.

Owning a dog was associated with lower blood pressure levels, better cholesterol profiles and increased physical exercise. All these are vital to a healthy heart.

A recent Swedish study also found that those who owned dogs lived longer and did better after suffering a stroke or heart attack. The greatest differences were found between dog non-owners and owners living in single households.

After adjusting for socioeconomic and demographic factors, this study found that the risk of death for those suffering a heart attack and who lived alone but had dogs, was 33% lower than the solitary adults who did not own dogs. Additionally, those who had suffered a stroke and lived with dogs had a 27% lower risk of death compared to those who did not have dogs.

The study analyzed data from outcomes of 182,000 people without and with dogs who had experienced a heart attack and 155,000 people after stroke. The study used health data recorded by the Swedish National Patient Register between 2001 and 2012.

Although all mechanisms can’t be confirmed since this was an observational study, the authors of the study were surprised by the large differences in the outcomes. They believe it is most likely due to exercise and companionship factors. Dogs can be great motivators for physical activity. Physical activity and social support are very important for optimal recovery after a significant cardiovascular event.

Both studies credit the additional exercise that keeping a dog entails. A recent Mayo Clinic study of 1,800 people discovered that those who had canine companions were more likely to practice heart healthy lifestyle habits such as having ideal blood sugar levels, eating well and exercising compared to those without a dog.

Researchers in the studies note that taking care of a dog or dogs also decreases depression and loneliness which can account for the added longevity among adults who live more isolated. Last year the National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed over 2,000 adults aged 50 to 80. More than half owned a pet and 79% of the senior pet parents said their animal companion reduced stress in their lives. Among those who lived alone and/or reported fair or poor physical health, 72% remarked that their pets helped them cope with emotional and physical symptoms.

It is well known that social isolation is a significant risk factor for worse health outcomes and even premature death. Dog owners typically experience less social isolation and have more interaction with other people.

Of course dog ownership can be physically and financially demanding. A recent JAMA study showed that bone fractures related to seniors walking their dogs more than doubled between 2004 and 2017. 6% of seniors in the National Poll reported their pets caused them to fall or injure themselves. Seniors should always consider their physical limitations before adopting a pet for physical activity. reports that dog ownership averages $153 per month so financial costs should also be taken into consideration.

To view the original scientific study click below

The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence

Excessive Training can make your Brain Tired

Excessive training can make the body tired, however can it make the brain tired? According to a new study, the answer is yes!

Researchers put triathletes on an excessive training load. They found they showed a form of mental fatigue. The fatigue showed reduced activity in the portion of the brain that is important for decision making. The athletes also showed more impulsive behavior, choosing immediate rewards over bigger ones that would take longer to achieve.

The lateral prefrontal portion of the brain that was affected by the overload in sport training was exactly the same which had been shown vulnerable to excessive work in earlier studies. This particular area of the brain appeared as the weak spot of the brain network which is responsible for cognitive control.

The two studies suggest a connection between physical and mental effort both of which require cognitive control. The reason for this essential control in demanding athletic training is that to maintain physical effort and to reach a distant goal, cognitive control is required. A person needs to control the automatic process that will make them stop when joints or muscles hurt.

The study originated from the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance in France which trains athletes for Olympic games. Some of the athletes suffered from over training syndrome. Their performance plummeted when they experienced an overwhelming sense of fatigue.

The question became, does this over training syndrome arise in part from neural fatigue in the brain which is the same kind of fatigue that can be caused by excessive intellectual work?

To discover the answer, the research team recruited 37 competitive male endurance athletes who had an average age of 35. The participants were assigned to either continue on with their normal training or to increase their training by 40% per session over a 3 week period.

The physical performance of the athletes was monitored during cycling exercises which were performed on rest days. The research team assessed their subjective experience of fatigue through questionnaires every 2 days. Behavioral testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning experiments were also conducted.

The results showed that physical training overload caused the athletes to feel more fatigued. Additionally, they acted more impulsively in standard tests which were used to evaluate how they would make economic choices.

The tendencies were shown as a bias in favoring immediate rewards over delayed ones. The brains of the athletes who had been overloaded physically also indicated diminished activation of the lateral prefrontal cortex which is a key region of the executive control system when they made the economic choices.

The studies findings indicate that while endurance sport is generally good for health, overdoing it can lead to adverse effects on the brain. The findings bring attention to the fact that neural states matter. People don’t make the same decisions when the brain is in a state of fatigue.

The findings may be important not only for producing the best athletes, but also for economic choice theory which typically will ignore fluctuations in the neural machinery which is responsible for decision making. It also suggests it may be important to monitor fatigue levels in order to prevent bad decision making in the judicial, political and economic domains.

Future studies will explore why exerting control during sports training or intellectual work causes the cognitive control system harder to activate in subsequent tasks. The hope is to find strategies or treatments that can help prevent such neural fatigue and the following consequences.

To view the original scientific study click below

Neuro-computational impact of physical training overload on economic decision-making.

Is Air Pollution Making Us Less Intelligent?

Air pollution may have a harmful effect on more than just the heart and lungs. A new study has shown that it could also be making us less intelligent. The study conducted on elderly people living in China, has found that long term exposure to pollution in the air may hinder cognitive performance in both math and verbal tests.

As we age, the link between mental decline and air pollution becomes stronger. Evidence already shows that air pollution and even the tiniest, invisible particulates in air pollution damages the brain not only in animals but also in humans. Traffic pollution is associated with delinquent behavior in adolescents, dementia, and also stunted development of the brain in kids who attend highly polluted schools.

Almost seven million people die every year from exposure to polluted air. 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits. Nine out of 10 people in the world breathe air pollution. Research suggests that older men with less education were the most affected by chronic exposure to air pollution because this group of people generally work manual jobs outdoors.

When mice were exposed to urban air pollution for a period of four months they showed reduced brain function and inflammatory responses within major regions of the brain. This indicates the brain tissues changed due to response to the harmful stimuli which was produced by the air pollution.

Scientists don’t know exactly what aspects of the air pollution particulate cocktail (size, number and composition of particles) contributes most to the reported deterioration of the brain. There is evidence however that nanoscale pollution particles could be one cause.

These nanoscale particles are around 2,000 times smaller than the diameter of a single human hair. They can be moved throughout the body by the bloodstream after they are inhaled. They can even reach the brain directly from the olfactory nerves which give the brain information about smell. This allows the particles to bypass the blood brain barrier which normally protects the brain from a variety of harmful things that circulate in the bloodstream.

Brain samples from postmortem people who had been exposed to high levels of air pollution while living in Manchester, UK and Mexico City showed the typical signs of Alzheimer’s disease. This included clumps of abnormal protein fragments or plaques between nerve cells; an abundance of metal rich nanoparticles such as copper, nickle, cobalt, platinum and iron; and inflammation.

These metal rich nanoparticles found in these brains samples are found to be similar to those that are found everywhere in urban air pollution. These form from burning oil and other fuels, and wear in brakes and engines. They are very often associated with other types of hazardous compounds including polyaromatic hydrocarbons which are naturally found in fossil fuels and can lead to liver and kidney damage and also cancer.

Inhaling nanoparticles found in air pollution repeatedly may have a variety of negative effects on the brain including chronic inflammation of the nerve cells in the brain. When air pollution is inhaled, it may activate microglia, the brain’s immune cells. Breathing air pollution can constantly activate the killing response in these immune cells which can allow dangerous molecules which are known as reactive oxygen species, to form much more often. High levels of these particular molecules might cause cell damage and cell death.

The newest study showing the link between air pollution and the decline in intelligence along with the evidence already known in regards to the link between air pollution and the development of dementia, makes a case for reducing air pollution even more compelling.

Changes that include a combination of regulation and policy changes and changes to vehicle technology could provide practical ways to reduce the health burden of air pollution throughout the world.

There are a variety of things we can do to protect ourselves. Walking or cycling more and driving less can help reduce air pollution. Driving smoothly and without fierce acceleration or braking, and avoiding driving during rush hours can also help reduce emissions. Keeping car windows closed and recirculating air in the car may also help to reduce exposure to pollution during traffic jams.

Young children are the most vulnerable to health concerns with air pollution since their brains are still developing. Unfortunately, many schools are located near major roads which means a substantial reduction in air pollution is necessary. One solution to help is by planting specific tree species that are good at capturing particulates around schools and along roads.

Indoor pollution can also lead to health problems. Ventilation during cooking is needed. Open fires whether indoors or outdoors are also significant sources of particulate pollution. Wood burning stoves produce a large percentage of outdoor air pollution during the winter months. Dry, well seasoned wood should be used along with efficient ecodesign rated stoves.

Additionally, what is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Keeping the brain stimulated and active, eating a good diet which is rich in antioxidants and then keeping active and fit can help build up resistance to air pollution effects. Since it isn’t yet known exactly what mechanisms of air pollution causes damages to our brain and if their effects can be reversed, the best way a person can protect themselves is to avoid and reduce pollution exposure as much as possible.

To view the original scientific study click below

The impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance.