Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Parkinson’s Disease in Denmark: A Case–Control Study (6 page pdf, Beate Ritz, Pei-Chen Lee, Johnni Hansen, Christina Funch Lassen, Matthias Ketzel, Mette Sørensen, and Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Environmental Health Perspectives, Mar. 1, 2016)
Today we review research into the relationship between exposure to traffic-related air pollution and the incidence of Parkinson’s Disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. Results from a large sample over 15 years in Denmark indicates that this exposure increases the incidence of PD.
“very little is currently known about the effects they [air pollutants] may have on the aging brain. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, engendering great human costs in aging populations ..and recent evidence suggests that air pollution may act on biologic pathways contributing to PD.”
“In animal experiments, ultrafine particulates from combustion (< 0.1 μm in aerodynamic diameter)—the main contributor to traffic-related air pollution—were shown to reach the brain, cause inflammation, and act as neurotoxins”
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest that ambient air pollution due to traffic-related sources increases the risk of PD. This association was observed among those who were born or living in Copenhagen or provincial towns,”
“the large sample size of our study together with our exposure assessment techniques covering a very long time span allowed us to conduct an investigation that suggests long-term impacts of air pollution on PD risk"