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Fwd: [CF] Understanding the Brains of Motorists?

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  • Christopher Miller
    Forwarded from the Carfree list... ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2008
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      Forwarded from the "Carfree" list...

      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: Jym Dyer <jym@...>
      > Date: March 20, 2008 3:38:22 PM EDT (CA)
      > To: carfree@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [CF] Understanding the Brains of Motorists?
      > Reply-To: CarFree@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7288176.stm
      >
      > Pollution 'alters brain function'
      > BBC News | Tuesday, 11-Mar-2008, 00:54 GMT
      >
      > An hour sniffing exhaust fumes may not just give you a
      > headache -- it could even alter the way the brain functions,
      > Dutch researchers have suggested.
      >
      > Scientists have known nanoparticles reach the brain when
      > inhaled, but this is the first time they have been shown to
      > affect how we process information.
      >
      > Researchers sought to replicate the environment experienced by
      > those who work in a garage or by the roadside. Their findings
      > were published in the journal _Particle_and_Fibre_Toxicology.
      >
      > A team at Zuyd University in the Netherlands persuaded 10
      > volunteers to spend an hour in a room filled either with clean
      > air or exhaust from a diesel engine.
      >
      > They were wired up to an electroencephalograph (EEG), a device
      > that records the electrical signals of the brain. They were
      > monitored during the period of exposure and for an hour after
      > they left the room.
      >
      > After about 30 minutes, the brains of those in the exhaust rooms
      > displayed a stress response on the EEG, which is indicative of a
      > change in the way information is being processed in the brain
      > cortex.
      >
      > This effect continued after they were no longer in the room.
      >
      > "We can only speculate what these effects may mean for the
      > chronic exposure to air pollution encountered in busy cities
      > where the levels of such soot particles can be very high,"
      > said lead researcher Paul Borm.
      >
      > "It is conceivable that the long-term effects of exposure to
      > traffic nanoparticles may interfere with normal brain function
      > and information processing. Further studies are necessary to
      > explore this effect."
      >
      > == Dog's life ==
      >
      > The fact that the brain responds when confronted with a new
      > smell is not entirely surprising, says Ken Donaldson, professor
      > of respiratory toxicology at the University of Edinburgh.
      >
      > "And it may not necessarily be negative, but such physiological
      > changes do warrant investigation because there could indeed be
      > a long-term effect. It's a very interesting, and potentially
      > important, study."
      >
      > Controlled studies examining the impact of pollution on the
      > brain are ethically problematic, while longer-term studies of
      > the population in polluted areas can be practically difficult
      > as brain diseases are not necessarily noted on the death
      > certificate as the cause of death.
      >
      > Alzheimer's patients for instance often die of infection.
      >
      > But a study of dogs in Mexico found those who lived in
      > highly-polluted Mexico City had brain lesions similar to those
      > seen in Alzheimer's patients, while those who lived in much
      > less-polluted rural areas showed a much lower rate of damage
      > to the brain.
      >
      >



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