If you live in the country, you already know how great the fresh air and wide open spaces are. But did you know that the country living can also prevent dementia? That's what a study in the medical journal The Lancet says after finding a link between pollution and dementia.
Scientists found the link after studying 6.6 million people over the course of a decade. About half lived less than 50 meters away from a major source of pollution, like a major road or highway. Through the studies, they found that the closer and longer they lived to this type of area, the higher their risk of developing memory issues was. Overall, their risk of developing dementia was between 7-12%. The study also found an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease for those living in these areas.
On the flip side, those living further away from major highways don't see an effect from the pollution coming from the major cities. Instead, their chances of developing the memory disease were about 4% lower than their city-living counterparts.
While scientists aren't completely certain how pollution makes changes in the brain, they believe that exposure to nitrogen dioxide and fine particulates are a factor. However, they think noise pollution may also play a role in these numbers.
Unfortunately, dementia is common. The World Health Organization shows that doctors report 7.7 million new cases every year.