Air pollution, combustion and friction derived nanoparticles, and Alzheimer's disease in urban children and young adults

Lilian Calderón-Garciduẽnas, Angélica González-Maciel, Randy J. Kulesza, Luis Oscar González-González, Rafael Reynoso-Robles, Partha S. Mukherjee, Ricardo Torres-Jardón

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) ≥US EPA standards are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. The projection of 13.8 million AD cases in the US by the year 2050 obligate us to explore early environmental exposures as contributors to AD risk and pathogenesis. Metropolitan Mexico City children and young adults have lifetime exposures to PM2.5 and O3, and AD starting in the brainstem and olfactory bulb is relentlessly progressing in the first two decades of life. Magnetite combustion and friction-derived nanoparticles reach the brain and are associated with early and progressive damage to the neurovascular unit and to brain cells. In this review: 1) we highlight the interplay environment/genetics in the AD development in young populations; 2) comment upon ApoE ε4 and the rapid progression of neurofibrillary tangle stages and higher suicide risk in youth; and 3) discuss the role of combustion-derived nanoparticles and brain damage. A key aspect of this review is to show the reader that air pollution is complex and that profiles change from city to city with common denominators across countries. We explore and compare particulate matter profiles in Mexico City, Paris, and Santiago in Chile and make the point of why we should invest in decreasing PM2.5 to at least our current US EPA standard. Multidisciplinary intervention strategies are critical for prevention or amelioration of cognitive deficits and AD progression and risk of suicide in young individuals. AD pathology evolving from childhood is threating the wellbeing of future generations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlzheimer's Disease and Air Pollution
Subtitle of host publicationThe Development and Progression of a Fatal Disease from Childhood and the Opportunities for Early Prevention
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781643681597
ISBN (Print)9781643681580
StatePublished - May 3 2021


  • Air pollution
  • Alzheimer's disease continuum
  • ApoE ε4
  • Combustion and friction derived nanoparticles
  • Mexico city
  • PM
  • Paris
  • Santiago de Chile
  • Suicide
  • Tauopathies


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