Air pollution Lodges in Human Brains

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

Scientists have for the first time discovered tiny magnetic particles from air pollution lodged in human brains, which could be a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at Lancaster University in the UK found abundant magnetite nanoparticles in the brain tissue from 37 individuals aged three to 92-years-old who lived in Mexico City and Manchester.

The strongly magnetic mineral is toxic and has been implicated in the production of reactive oxygen species in the human brain, which are associated with neuro degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Barbara Maher used spectroscopic analysis to identify the particles as magnetite.

Particles smaller than 200 nanometres are small enough to enter the brain directly through the olfactory nerve after breathing air pollution through the nose.

This finding opens up a whole new avenue for research into a possible environmental risk factor for a range of different brain diseases.

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