Poor air quality has been linked to higher rates of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Exposure to air pollution during the first ten years of like is also associated with a more than two-fold increased risk of schizophrenia and personality disorders.
Maternal exposure to higher levels of air pollution is associated with lower IQ scores in their children. For those whose mothers were in the highest 10% of exposure had IQ score that were, on average, 2.5 points lower than those whose mothers were in the lowest 10%. However, higher maternal folate levels appear to neurtralize the effect of high pollution exposure on offspring.
Damaged olfactory neurons as a result of air pollution may contribute to altered cerebrospinal fluid flow and turnover, acting as a potential mechanism for the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy or during early life is linked to a reduction in cognitive abilities during child development. Greater fine particulate matter 2.5 exposure between fetal stage and 7 years old was associated with lower working memory scores in boys at age 10. Early life exposure to PM2.5 was also correlated with attention problems in both boys and girls.
Children exposed to higher levels of air pollution from traffic have increased levels of myo-inositol in the brain. The increase in myo-inositol was associated with higher risk of generalized anxiety in children.
Exposure to nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides through air pollution is linked to an increased risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms in teenagers. Accounting for other known risk factors, exposure to both NO2 and NOx accounted for 60% of the link between symptoms of psychosis and living in an urban environment.
A new study reveals long term exposure of particulate matter in air pollution triggered the appearance of cancer related genes and inflammation in the brains of rats. The study provides additional insight into the health effects of air pollution.