Association of Environmental Exposures with Mental and Cognitive Health

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Toxicology and Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 April 2023) | Viewed by 10789

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Environmental Epidemiology Group, Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Medical Faculty and University Hospital Düsseldorf, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
Interests: environmental exposure assessment; air pollution; health impact assessment; mental health; respiratory health; children’s health; healthy aging

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Guest Editor
Head of the Working Group of Environmental Epidemiology at the Leibniz Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (IUF), Düsseldorf, Germany
Interests: environmental exposure; air pollution; temperature; health effects; lung health; neurocognitive
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Guest Editor
Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Interests: oral health; public health; health equity; epidemiology; environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cognitive, behavioural, and emotional well-being is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood to older age. For example, depression is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease, with a lifetime prevalence of 10 to 15% worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that, in 2015, dementia affected at least 50 million people (or approximately 5% of the world's population aged over 60 years), with 60% living in low- and middle-income countries. Environmental exposures are hypothesized to contribute to mental and cognitive health, but to date, the overall results are heterogeneous. Understanding the relationships between modifiable environmental risk factors and mental or cognitive conditions is important to inform the development of preventive measures and to address the needs of people living with these health conditions.

We encourage and warmly welcome researchers to submit original research articles or reviews on (but not limited to) the following topics: results of epidemiological studies on risk factors associated with environmental exposures (air pollution, traffic noise, greenness, temperature, etc.), which affect cognitive function and/or mental health (for example: depression, anxiety, dementia, etc). Studies on the combined effects of multiple environmental exposures are highly welcome. We are especially interested in studies investigating sensitive or higher risk groups exposed to various environmental pollutants (for example: pregnant women, children, the elderly, people who are immune compromised, and those living with chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular diseases, etc.).

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Hicran Altug
Dr. Tamara Schikowski
Dr. Rachel Tham
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Environmental exposures
  • Air pollution
  • Traffic noise
  • Neighbourhood greenness
  • Temperature
  • Mental health
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dementia

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Adiposity Levels on the Relation between Perfluoroalkyl Substances and High Depressive Symptom Scores in Czech Adults
by Geraldo Neto, Martin Bobak, Juan P. Gonzalez-Rivas and Jana Klanova
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110946 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 980
Abstract
The extensive use and bioaccumulation of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) over time raise concerns about their impact on health, including mental issues such as depression. This study aims to evaluate the association between PFAS and depression. In addition, considering the importance of PFAS as [...] Read more.
The extensive use and bioaccumulation of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) over time raise concerns about their impact on health, including mental issues such as depression. This study aims to evaluate the association between PFAS and depression. In addition, considering the importance of PFAS as an endocrine disruptor and in adipogenesis, the analyses will also be stratified by body fat status. A cross-sectional study with 479 subjects (56.4% women, 25–89 years) was conducted. Four PFAS were measured: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The Poisson regression model was applied using robust error variances. The fully adjusted model included age, sex, educational level, income, smoking, physical activity, body fat percentage, and the questionnaire to assess depression. The prevalence of depression and high body fat was 7.9% and 41.1%, respectively. Only PFOA was significantly associated with depression in the entire sample (prevalence rate (PR): 1.91; confidence interval (CI95%): 1.01–3.65). However, in the group with normal adiposity, PFOA (3.20, CI95%: 1.46–7.01), PFNA (2.54, CI95%: 1.29–5.00), and PFDA (2.09, CI95%: 1.09–4.00) were also significant. Future research should investigate the role of obesity as well as the biological plausibility and possible mechanisms increasing the limited number of evidences between PFAS and depression. Full article
14 pages, 1926 KiB  
Article
Aflatoxin B1 Exacerbates Genomic Instability and Apoptosis in the BTBR Autism Mouse Model via Dysregulating DNA Repair Pathway
by Ali A. Alshamrani, Mohammad Y. Alwetaid, Mohammed A. Al-Hamamah, Mohamed S. M. Attia, Sheikh F. Ahmad, Majed A. Algonaiah, Ahmed Nadeem, Mushtaq A. Ansari, Saleh A. Bakheet and Sabry M. Attia
Toxics 2023, 11(7), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11070636 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The pathophysiology of autism is influenced by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Furthermore, individuals with autism appear to be at a higher risk of developing cancer. However, this is not fully understood. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a potent food pollutant carcinogen. [...] Read more.
The pathophysiology of autism is influenced by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Furthermore, individuals with autism appear to be at a higher risk of developing cancer. However, this is not fully understood. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a potent food pollutant carcinogen. The effects of AFB1 on genomic instability in autism have not yet been investigated. Hence, we have aimed to investigate whether repeated exposure to AFB1 causes alterations in genomic stability, a hallmark of cancer and apoptosis in the BTBR autism mouse model. The data revealed increased micronuclei generation, oxidative DNA strand breaks, and apoptosis in BTBR animals exposed to AFB1 when compared to unexposed animals. Lipid peroxidation in BTBR mice increased with a reduction in glutathione following AFB1 exposure, demonstrating an exacerbated redox imbalance. Furthermore, the expressions of some of DNA damage/repair- and apoptosis-related genes were also significantly dysregulated. Increases in the redox disturbance and dysregulation in the DNA damage/repair pathway are thus important determinants of susceptibility to AFB1-exacerbated genomic instability and apoptosis in BTBR mice. This investigation shows that AFB1-related genomic instability can accelerate the risk of cancer development. Moreover, approaches that ameliorate the redox balance and DNA damage/repair dysregulation may mitigate AFB1-caused genomic instability. Full article
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12 pages, 312 KiB  
Communication
Associations between Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Cognitive Function in Australian Urban Settings: The Moderating Role of Diabetes Status
by Rachel Tham, Amanda J. Wheeler, Alison Carver, David Dunstan, David Donaire-Gonzalez, Kaarin J. Anstey, Jonathan E. Shaw, Dianna J. Magliano, Erika Martino, Anthony Barnett and Ester Cerin
Toxics 2022, 10(6), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10060289 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2173
Abstract
Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is associated with lower cognitive function and diabetes in older adults, but little is known about whether diabetes status moderates the impact of TRAP on older adult cognitive function. We analysed cross-sectional data from 4141 adults who participated in [...] Read more.
Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is associated with lower cognitive function and diabetes in older adults, but little is known about whether diabetes status moderates the impact of TRAP on older adult cognitive function. We analysed cross-sectional data from 4141 adults who participated in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study in 2011–2012. TRAP exposure was estimated using major and minor road density within multiple residential buffers. Cognitive function was assessed with validated psychometric scales, including: California Verbal Learning Test (memory) and Symbol–Digit Modalities Test (processing speed). Diabetes status was measured using oral glucose tolerance tests. We observed positive associations of some total road density measures with memory but not processing speed. Minor road density was not associated with cognitive function, while major road density showed positive associations with memory and processing speed among larger buffers. Within a 300 m buffer, the relationship between TRAP and memory tended to be positive in controls (β = 0.005; p = 0.062), but negative in people with diabetes (β = −0.013; p = 0.026) and negatively associated with processing speed in people with diabetes only (β = −0.047; p = 0.059). Increased TRAP exposure may be positively associated with cognitive function among urban-dwelling people, but this benefit may not extend to those with diabetes. Full article
22 pages, 3838 KiB  
Article
Hemispheric Cortical, Cerebellar and Caudate Atrophy Associated to Cognitive Impairment in Metropolitan Mexico City Young Adults Exposed to Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution
by Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Jacqueline Hernández-Luna, Partha S. Mukherjee, Martin Styner, Diana A. Chávez-Franco, Samuel C. Luévano-Castro, Celia Nohemí Crespo-Cortés, Elijah W. Stommel and Ricardo Torres-Jardón
Toxics 2022, 10(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10040156 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3041
Abstract
Exposures to fine particulate matter PM2.5 are associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s (AD, PD) and TDP-43 pathology in young Metropolitan Mexico City (MMC) residents. High-resolution structural T1-weighted brain MRI and/or Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) data were examined in 302 volunteers age 32.7 ± [...] Read more.
Exposures to fine particulate matter PM2.5 are associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s (AD, PD) and TDP-43 pathology in young Metropolitan Mexico City (MMC) residents. High-resolution structural T1-weighted brain MRI and/or Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) data were examined in 302 volunteers age 32.7 ± 6.0 years old. We used multivariate linear regressions to examine cortical surface area and thickness, subcortical and cerebellar volumes and MoCA in ≤30 vs. ≥31 years old. MMC residents were exposed to PM2.5 ~ 30.9 µg/m3. Robust hemispheric differences in frontal and temporal lobes, caudate and cerebellar gray and white matter and strong associations between MoCA total and index scores and caudate bilateral volumes, frontotemporal and cerebellar volumetric changes were documented. MoCA LIS scores are affected early and low pollution controls ≥ 31 years old have higher MoCA vs. MMC counterparts (p ≤ 0.0001). Residency in MMC is associated with cognitive impairment and overlapping targeted patterns of brain atrophy described for AD, PD and Fronto-Temporal Dementia (FTD). MMC children and young adult longitudinal studies are urgently needed to define brain development impact, cognitive impairment and brain atrophy related to air pollution. Identification of early AD, PD and FTD biomarkers and reductions on PM2.5 emissions, including poorly regulated heavy-duty diesel vehicles, should be prioritized to protect 21.8 million highly exposed MMC urbanites. Full article
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16 pages, 1125 KiB  
Article
Urban Neighbourhood Environments, Cardiometabolic Health and Cognitive Function: A National Cross-Sectional Study of Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Australia
by Ester Cerin, Anthony Barnett, Jonathan E. Shaw, Erika Martino, Luke D. Knibbs, Rachel Tham, Amanda J. Wheeler and Kaarin J. Anstey
Toxics 2022, 10(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10010023 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2293
Abstract
Population ageing and urbanisation are global phenomena that call for an understanding of the impacts of features of the urban environment on older adults’ cognitive function. Because neighbourhood characteristics that can potentially have opposite effects on cognitive function are interdependent, they need to [...] Read more.
Population ageing and urbanisation are global phenomena that call for an understanding of the impacts of features of the urban environment on older adults’ cognitive function. Because neighbourhood characteristics that can potentially have opposite effects on cognitive function are interdependent, they need to be considered in conjunction. Using data from an Australian national sample of 4141 adult urban dwellers, we examined the extent to which the associations of interrelated built and natural environment features and ambient air pollution with cognitive function are explained by cardiometabolic risk factors relevant to cognitive health. All examined environmental features were directly and/or indirectly related to cognitive function via other environmental features and/or cardiometabolic risk factors. Findings suggest that dense, interconnected urban environments with access to parks, blue spaces and low levels of air pollution may benefit cognitive health through cardiometabolic risk factors and other mechanisms not captured in this study. This study also highlights the need for a particularly fine-grained characterisation of the built environment in research on cognitive function, which would enable the differentiation of the positive effects of destination-rich neighbourhoods on cognition via participation in cognition-enhancing activities from the negative effects of air pollutants typically present in dense, destination-rich urban areas. Full article
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