A new study has revealed that exposure to air pollution damages the brain of developing mice, affecting the same area of the brain that is known to play a role in autism and schizophrenia in humans.
Researchers from the University of Rochester in the US found that when mice were regularly exposed to fine particle pollution in the first two weeks of their life, they developed a range of brain abnormalities which are consistent with patterns seen in humans suffering from schizophrenia and autism. These harmful effects were mainly observed in the male mice; a finding that corresponds to the fact that boys and men are more likely to be diagnosed with both of these disorders.
“Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that air pollution may play a role in autism, as well as in other neurodevelopmental disorders,” said Deborah Cory-Slechta, professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester and lead author of the study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Exposure to fine particle air pollution was found to cause inflammation in the brains of the young mice, damaging the development of white matter …