News from ISGlobal
“We cannot guarentee the safety of the current levels of air pollution in our cities,” says Mònica Guxens, researcher of ISGlobal and Erasmus University Medical Center. With this drastic statment she summs up the findings of a new study that has linked exposure to residential air pollution during fetal life with brain abnormalities. They may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children resulting in addictive behavior and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
The study of 783 dutch children (aged 6-10) revealed that exposure to fine particles during fetal life was associated with a thinner cortex, the outer layer of the brain, in several areas of both hemispheres. This could be one of the factors that may explain the observed impairment in inhibitory control. The fetal brain is particularly vulnerable, because it hasn’t yet developed the mechanisms to protect against or remove environmental toxins.
This finding adds to previous studies that have linked acceptable air pollution levels with other complications including cognitive decline and fetal growth development. RF/PRBB
Guxens M., et.al. Air pollution exposure during fetal life, brain morphology, and cognitive function in school-age children. Biological Psychiatry, 2018
Exposure to Air Pollution during Pregnancy Linked to Brain Alterations and Cognitive Impairment in Children (ISGlobal website)