Duke University Study Correlates Ambient Particulate Matter to Alzheimer’s Disease

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ESS technician preforms preventative maintenance on a Met One Instruments, Inc. Beta Attenuation Monitoring (BAM). These monitors are used for the detection of ambient particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). The Met One Instruments, Inc. BAM 1022 Real-Time Portable Beta Attenuation Mass Monitor continuously measures the mass concentration of ambient particulate matter collected onto glass filter tape with a time resolution of one minute.

In a study published July 9, 2021, researchers at Duke University correlated theorized elevated rates of Alzheimer’s disease, non-Alzheimer’s dementia, and Parkinson’s disease to long-term exposure to elevated levels of ambient air particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) that exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality standards (≥10μg/m3).

Data obtained through the State Center for Health Statistics and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project was evaluated against data from the Global Annual PM2.5 Grids from MODIS/MISR and SeaWiFS. The study group consisted of residents from 87 zip codes in the southern Piedmont area of North Carolina with elevated particulate matter (PM2.5≥10μg/m3). The control group consisted of residents from 81 zip codes in the same region with low levels particulate matter (PM2.5≤7.61μg/m3).

Researchers concluded that North Carolina residents aged 65+ with long-term exposures to ambient PM2.5 levels exceeding the WHO standard had significantly increased risks of death and hospital admissions for Alzheimer’s Disease. 

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