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Russia - Scientists warn about the impact of bad air on mental abilities

Russia (, - Air quality can have a direct impact on cognitive performance, especially in the elderly. Chinese scientists came to this conclusion by comparing the state of mental abilities with the quality of atmospheric air in the cities where the subjects lived.

As follows from the results of the study, published in The Lancet, scientists examined the health status of 2812 elderly people, divided into two groups. The first lived in cities where programs were implemented to combat harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Such programs began to gain popularity in China since 2014, in the provinces they began to achieve an annual reduction in emissions of at least five percent.

The control group of subjects lived in cities where there were no such programs.

In 2014 and 2018, participants in the experiment took a series of complex tests that were supposed to reveal their cognitive abilities.

It turned out that even during testing in 2014, subjects from cities where environmental programs were not implemented showed lower results than those who lived in locations with cleaner air. When testing was conducted four years later, this gap only widened. Based on the results of the experiment, scientists say that there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between air quality and cognitive abilities.

From a biological point of view, scientists explain the impact of bad air on mental abilities by the fact that at a high level of pollution, microparticles of pollutants enter the human body through the blood or by breathing and cause poisoning. Also, scientists point out, pollutants can accumulate in the body and contribute to the deposition of amyloids, which, according to one of the currently popular hypotheses, cause dementia.

The authors of the study note that, of course, the state of cognitive function does not depend only on age. It has been found that long-term smoking, sedentary lifestyle, loneliness, low level of education and lack of constant mental activity worsen the state of cognitive abilities. But, scientists emphasize, lifestyle is often a personal choice of a person, and the study shows that the implementation of long-term environmental programs can significantly reduce risk factors for dementia and improve the quality of life of elderly residents of megacities.

Russia - Scientists warn about the impact of bad air on mental abilities