Fwd: [CF] Understanding the Brains of Motorists?
- Forwarded from the "Carfree" list...
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Jym Dyer <jym@...>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Date: March 20, 2008 3:38:22 PM EDT (CA)
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: [CF] Understanding the Brains of Motorists?
> Reply-To: CarFree@yahoogroups.com
> 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
> 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.