Does air pollution reduce the benefits of physical activity on the brain?

A new study shows that people who do vigorous physical activities, like jogging or playing competitive sports, in areas with higher air pollution may show less benefit from that exercise when it comes to certain markers of brain disease. The markers examined in the study included white matter hyperintensities, which indicate injury to the brain’s white matter, and gray matter volume. Larger gray matter volumes and smaller white matter hyperintensity volumes are markers of overall better brain health. The research is published in the December 8, 2021, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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