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City Pollution Causes Short-Memory Loss, Lower IQ in Kids: Study

brainChildren exposed to air pollution in cities tend suffer with short-term memory loss and lower IQ than the children who live in rural and less polluted surroundings, said a study.

The study conducted in US cities also shows that children in polluted cities and more prominent among those who carry a gene called the apolipoprotein E4 allele that causes Alzheimer’s later in life are the worst sufferers with loss cognitive responses than those kids with gene apoliprotein E3 allele.

The study led by Dr. Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas, University of Montana Professor, and her team, tested children living in Mexico City, divided in two groups, and watched for several variables like age, gender, socio-economic status, education and genes causing Alzheimer’s and short-term memory loss.

They found that the group of children who attended underprovided public schools failed to show similar congnitive responses compared to those children elsewhere with a defense mechanism against pollution impact.

The researchers said the resultant cognitive underperformance and metabolic brain changes in those children living in polluted environment leads to neuro-degenerative effects.

“An IQ difference of 10 points will likely have a negative impact on academic and social issues, including bullying and teen delinquency,” said Dr. Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas.

She also said that it took 50 years for these children to show the signs of detrimental effects like cognitive impairment and dementia. The study for the first time has thrown focus on gene apolipoprotein E4 allele, besides the environmental pollution in cities.

The researchers said the study brings into focus new causes for Alzheimer’s and help further study on avoiding the disease in the long run.

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