Hemispheric Cortical, Cerebellar and Caudate Atrophy Associated to Cognitive Impairment in Metropolitan Mexico City Young Adults Exposed to Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title



Exposures to fine particulate matter PM2.5 are associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s (AD, PD) and TDP-43 pathology in young Metropolitan Mexico City (MMC) residents. Highresolution structural T1-weighted brain MRI and/or Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) data were examined in 302 volunteers age 32.7 ± 6.0 years old. We used multivariate linear regressions to examine cortical surface area and thickness, subcortical and cerebellar volumes and MoCA in ≤30 vs. ≥31 years old. MMC residents exposed to PM2.5 ~ 30.9 µg/m3. Robust hemispheric differences in frontal and temporal lobes, caudate and cerebellar gray and white matter and strong associations between MoCA total and index scores and caudate bilateral volumes, frontotemporal and cerebellar volumetric changes were documented. MoCA LIS scores are affected early and low pollution controls ≥ 31 years old have higher MoCA vs. MMC counterparts (p ≤ 0.0001). Residency in MMC is associated with cognitive impairment and overlapping targeted patterns of brain atrophy described for AD, PD and Fronto-Temporal Dementia (FTD). MMC children and young adult longitudinal studies are urgently needed to define brain development impact, cognitive impairment and brain atrophy related to air pollution. Identification of early AD, PD and FTD biomarkers and reductions on PM2.5 emissions, including poorly regulated heavy-duty diesel vehicles, should be prioritized to protect 21.8 million highly exposed MMC urbanites.



Publication Date



Open Access, Gold, Green

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