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Pollution Causes Learning, Memory & Mood Problems

Pollution Causes Learning, Memory & Mood Problems

While the damaging effects of air pollution on the heart and lungs has been shown in previous studies, a new study suggests that the harmful impact extends beyond that. Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to physical changes in the brain, as well as learning and memory problems and even depression.

Laura Fonken and colleagues in Ohio State’s Department of Neuroscience collaborated with researchers in the university’s Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute for the new research.

“The results suggest prolonged exposure to polluted air can have visible, negative effects on the brain, which can lead to a variety of health problems,” Fonken said.

In other studies, some of the co-authors of this study from the Davis research center discovered that long-term exposure to polluted air causes widespread inflammation in the body, which is linked to a number of health problems in humans, including depression. The recent study found evidence that this low-grade inflammation is evident in the hippocampus.

“The more we learn about the health effects of prolonged exposure to air pollution, the more reasons there are to be concerned,” said Randy Nelson, co-author of the study and professor of neuroscience and psychology at Ohio State.

“This study adds more evidence of pollution’s negative effects on health.”

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Read more: Children, Depression, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

33 comments

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9:47AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

well...that's not surprising, poison doesn't affect us well... now we need solutions and a government willing to care...

6:25AM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

Not surprised by this.
Thanks

5:52PM PDT on Sep 15, 2011

Pollution Causes Learning, Memory & Mood Problems

Sign those petitions!

The endangered species is US!

2:28PM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

This is no surprise. Very helpful information.

6:28AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Not surprised.

8:24PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

For sure that can't surprise anyone....?!

9:35AM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

Shocking...

9:05PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

In the end, we conclude again that there's nothing good about pollution.

5:37PM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

There are many readers here who say they have known these aspects of pollution since the 1970's. The pollution rates increase from year to year and that's why babies are born with toxic chemicals in their blood and they suffer from allergies right from the start of their litle lives. In a democratic society - YOU are the government, so change depends on you !
Where I live in BC, outside of Vancouver, there are many people who don't know anything about pollution and the effect it has on our groundwater and our overall health. With our environmental group, we bring education and sustainable change to our community. There is much work to be done and the Squamish authorities do not address noise pollution either.

8:47AM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

I thought we had already reached these conclusions way back in 1970!

sooo...not much change then!

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I posted this story yesterday on my site and it is incredibly heartwarming!

A heartfelt message in a charitable story. Thanks for posting it.

Thanks so much for the great recipe.

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