Review Special Issues

Traffic-related air pollution and brain development

  • Received: 31 October 2014 Accepted: 23 April 2015 Published: 06 May 2015
  • Automotive traffic-related air pollution (TRP) imposes an increasing health burden with global urbanization. Gestational and early child exposure to urban TRP is associated with higher risk of autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, as well as low birth weight. While cardio-respiratory effects from exposure are well documented, cognitive effects are only recently becoming widely recognized. This review discusses effects of TRP on brain and cognition in human and animal studies. The mechanisms underlying these epidemiological associations are studied with rodent models of pre- and neonatal exposure to TRP, which show persisting inflammatory changes and altered adult behaviors and cognition. Some behavioral and inflammatory changes show male bias. Rodent models may identify dietary and other interventions for neuroprotection to TRP.

    Citation: Nicholas Woodward, Caleb E. Finch, Todd E. Morgan. Traffic-related air pollution and brain development[J]. AIMS Environmental Science, 2015, 2(2): 353-373. doi: 10.3934/environsci.2015.2.353

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  • Automotive traffic-related air pollution (TRP) imposes an increasing health burden with global urbanization. Gestational and early child exposure to urban TRP is associated with higher risk of autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, as well as low birth weight. While cardio-respiratory effects from exposure are well documented, cognitive effects are only recently becoming widely recognized. This review discusses effects of TRP on brain and cognition in human and animal studies. The mechanisms underlying these epidemiological associations are studied with rodent models of pre- and neonatal exposure to TRP, which show persisting inflammatory changes and altered adult behaviors and cognition. Some behavioral and inflammatory changes show male bias. Rodent models may identify dietary and other interventions for neuroprotection to TRP.

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