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Role of environmental pollutants in Alzheimer’s disease: a review

Abstract

Neurodegenerative disorders are commonly erratic influenced by various factors including lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors. In recent observations, it has been hypothesized that exposure to various environmental factors enhances the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The exact etiology of Alzheimer’s disease is still unclear; however, the contribution of environmental factors in the pathology of AD is widely acknowledged. Based on the available literature, the review aims to culminate in the prospective correlation between the various environmental factors and AD. The prolonged exposure to the various well-known environmental factors including heavy metals, air pollutants (particulate matter), pesticides, nanoparticles containing metals, industrial chemicals results in accelerating the progression of AD. Common mechanisms have been documented in the field of environmental contaminants for enhancing amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide along with tau phosphorylation, resulting in the initiation of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which results in the death of neurons. This review offers a compilation of available data to support the long-suspected correlation between environmental risk factors and AD pathology.

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Mir, R.H., Sawhney, G., Pottoo, F.H. et al. Role of environmental pollutants in Alzheimer’s disease: a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 44724–44742 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09964-x

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Keywords

  • Brain
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Environmental risk factors
  • Metals
  • Amyloid-ß plaques
  • Neurofibrillary tangles
  • Nanoparticles