According to the team led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), the greater the child’s exposure before the age of five, the more changes in brain structure are observed during adolescence.
“The novel aspect of the current study is that it identified periods of susceptibility to air pollution. We measured exposure using a finer time scale by analyzing data on a month-by-month basis, unlike previous studies where data were analyzed by trimester. Pregnancy or childhood years, ” said Anne-Claire Binter, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study
In this study, “we analyzed air pollution exposure of children from conception to 8.5 years of age on a monthly basis”, Binter added.
In addition to the relationship between air pollution and white matter microstructure, the study found a link between specific exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and the volume of the “putamen”, a brain structure involved in motor function, learning processes. and many other functions.
Abnormal white matter microstructure has been linked to psychiatric disorders (depressive symptoms, anxiety and autism spectrum disorders).