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Can busy roads lead to Dementia?

Posted on Healthcare By Prof. Dr. Erich Ringelstein - Published on 2017-03-26

  • If you are living within 50 meters (55 yards) of a street with heavy traffic, your dementia risk is 7% higher compared to people living more than 300 meters away from busy roads.

These are the results of a study recently published in world leading journal The Lancet.

The Study

Researchers in Canada included 6.5 million people in the study (age 20 to 85) from 2001 to 2012. Within this period 243,611 cases were diagnosed with dementia. The scientists compared the incidence of dementia with the proximity to streets with heavy traffic

The Results

The closer resident’s life to busy streets, the higher the dementia risk.

• 0 – 50m to busy streets: Dementia risk increased by: 7%

• 51 – 100m to busy streets: Dementia risk increased by: 4%

• 101 – 200m to busy streets: Dementia risk increased by: 2%

• >300m to busy streets: Dementia risk increased by: 0%

The Conclusion

“Air pollutants can get into the blood stream and lead to inflammation, which is linked with cardiovascular disease and possibly other conditions such as diabetes. This study suggests air pollutants that can get into the brain via the blood stream can lead to neurological problems,” said Ray Copes, an environmental and occupational health expert at Public Health Ontario (PHO) who conducted the study with colleagues from Canada’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.


About Author

Prof. Dr. Erich Ringelstein

Prof. Erich Ringelstein is a Neurologist and Psychiatrist, he was the Head of Neurology Department at the University Hospital of Münster in Germany, managing eighty beds, a neurological intensive care unit and a stroke unit as well. Prof. Ringelstein also managed subdivisions that covered neuromuscular disorders, sleep disorders epileptic seizures, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, as well as, dementia and cognitive impairment. Prof. Ringelstein was very active in academic teaching and was awarded for these efforts several times. He is trained in epileptology, neuroradiology, neuro geriatrics, evoked potentials, neurovascular and neuromuscular ultrasound. In 1992, Prof. Ringelstein received the Hugo Spatz Prize from the German Neurological Society for his research on cerebrovascular disease. Prof. Ringelstein is an active member of the editorial boards of scientific journals like Stroke, European Neurology, Cerebrovascular Diseases, Journal of Neuroimaging. He serves as a Reviewer for well-known journals like Stroke, Brain, Neurology, Annals of Neurology and others. Prof. Ringelstein was trained in Mainz University, Aachen Medical Faculty and Bonn University Hospital. In 1987, he worked as a Research Fellow at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, CA, USA. In 2006, Prof. Ringelstein received an Honorary Doctor title from the University of Debrecen, Hungary, for his intensive and fruitful scientific collaboration with this university hospital. He was elected Corresponding Member of the Austrian Stroke Society.

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