Study reveals alarming link between air pollution and increased Parkinson’s risk

NEW DELHI | Updated: 07 November, 2023 4:20 pm IST
Air pollution has reached terrible degrees, as Delhi crosses 'severe plus' category (TNI photo by Sumit Kumar)

NEW DELHI: As Delhi’s AQI reaches its highest at 999 in Anand Vihar, with an average AQI reaching 500, medical researchers have found out that residents residing in regions with median pollution levels have 56 per cent more chances of being afflicted by Parkinson’s Disease than people residing in regions with lower pollution levels.

The research study, which is yet to be published in Neurology — the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology — sought to uncover the relational patterns of the disease with geographical and air quality variations.

“Previous studies have shown fine particulate matter to cause inflammation in the brain, a known mechanism by which Parkinson’s disease could develop,” said Brittany Krzyzanowski, a PhD researcher from Barrow Neurological Institute, to agencies.


The study which had been conducted in the United States, also put forth that the relationship between air pollution and region may also vary with the region that a person resides in. It uncovered that the Mississipi-Ohio River Valley was identified as a Parkinson’s hotspot while, it was found out that the western half of the US is at a reduced risk of developing the disease.

“Regional differences in Parkinson’s might reflect regional differences in the composition of the particulate matter. Some areas may have particulate matter containing more toxic components in the air,” Krzyzanowski said.


Presently, Delhi’s AQI has been deemed as ‘severe’ as multiple concerns have been raised regarding worsening conditions.

The Delhi government blamed the worsening air quality to the stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab, the smoke from which would enter and affect Delhi’s National Capital Territory, and other parts of Rajasthan and Haryana.

On Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also scheduled a meeting with his cabinet to discuss Delhi’s worsening AQI to figure out a way around it.

ALSO READ: AAP pins Delhi’s pollution crisis on Haryana, says ‘Punjab 500 km away’

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