Air pollution can cause depression, says study

Long term exposure thought to cause physical changes to the brain

By Ian Birch

New research shows long-term explosure to air pollution may cause physical changes to the brain, learning and memory problems, and even depression.

Car pollutionA study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry says that, whilst a lot is known about the effects of air pollution on the lungs and heart, very little is known about the effect on mood and intelligence.

The report states that, of two studies conducted in the lab on mice, which were exposed to particulates similar to those found in major cities and and created by cars, factories and natural dust:

"Taken together, these data suggest that long-term exposure to particulate air pollution levels typical of exposure in major cities around the globe can alter affective responses and impair cognition."

In the study, the mice were exposed to either filtered air or 2.5 parts per million polluted air for six hours a day, five days a week for nearly half the lifespan of a mouse -- around 10 months.

The research is thought to have major environmental signifiance for the improvement of low mood and concentration problems amongst those living in the most polluted parts of the country.

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External Links

Article link to Molecular Psychiatry

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