Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution and Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia. Aside from the financial stress a disease such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias can cause, the diagnosis can be emotionally devastating to the individual and their family. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 16.1 Million Americans provide “unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.” Furthermore, these caregivers provide an estimated 18.4 Billion hours of care- that is valued at over $232 Billion! With the ever-evolving technology and medical advances, many deaths caused by disease have been decreasing. Unfortunately however, the number of Americans dying from Alzheimer’s and dementia is on the rise.

A new study released on June 13, 2018, suggests there is an association between air pollution exposure and dementia. This particular study focused on measuring the longitudinal association between particulate matter from residential wood burning, and vehicle exhaust, with dementia. The results of the study showed that individuals who lived in areas with higher levels of particulate matter (PM2.5) and also had a wood-burning stove in the home, were more likely to develop dementia than those without wood-stoves and lower levels of particulate matter.

Studies such as this are crucial to identifying causes of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. If you would like to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association to help in research efforts, please visit: https://act.alz.org/site/Donation2?df_id=9120&9120.donation=form1

Resources

Alzheimer’s Assocaition 

US Department of Human Health 

Oudin A, Segersson D, Adolfsson R, Forsberg B (2018) Association between air pollution from residential wood burning and dementia incidence in a longitudinal study in Northern Sweden. PLoS ONE 13(6): e0198283. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198283