Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Involving Multiple Cognitive Domains in Mexican Urbanites

Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas, Partha S. Mukherjee, Randy J. Kulesza, Ricardo Torres-Jardón, Jacqueline Hernández-Luna, Rodrigo Ávila-Cervantes, Edgar Macías-Escobedo, Oscar González-González, Angélica González-Maciel, Kevin García-Hernández, Ariatna Hernández-Castillo, Rodolfo Villarreal-Ríos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Exposures to fine particulate matter PM 2.5 and ozone O 3 are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Mexico City residents have lifetime exposures to PM 2.5 and O 3 above annual USEPA standards and their brains contain high redox, combustion, and friction-derived magnetite nanoparticles. AD pathological changes with subcortical pre-tangle stages in infancy and cortical tau pre-tangles, NFT Stages I-II, and amyloid phases 1-2 are identified by the 2nd decade. Given their AD continuum, a reliable identification of cognitive impairment is of utmost importance. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was administered to 517 urbanites, age 21.60±5.88 years, with 13.69±1.28 formal education years, in Mexican PM 2.5 polluted cities. MoCA score was 23.92±2.82, and 24.7% and 30.3% scored ≤24 and ≤22, respectively (MCI≤24, AD≤22). Cognitive deficits progressively targeted Visuospatial, Executive, Language, and Memory domains, body mass index (BMI) impacting total scores negatively (p=0.0008), aging driving down Executive, Visuospatial, and Language index scores (p<0.0001, 0.0037, and 0.0045), and males performing better in Executive tasks. Average age for AD MoCA scores was 22.38±7.7 years. Residency in polluted cities is associated with progression of multi-domain cognitive impairment affecting 55% of Mexican seemingly healthy youth. Normal BMI ought to be a neuroprotection goal. MoCA provides guidance for further mandatory neuropsychological testing in young populations. Identifying and lowering key neurotoxicants impacting neural risk trajectories in the developing brain and monitoring cognitive performance would greatly facilitate multidisciplinary early diagnosis and prevention of AD in high risk young populations. Cognitive deficits hinder development of those representing the force moving the country in future years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1123
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Mexico City
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment
  • PM 2.5
  • air pollution
  • attention
  • body mass index
  • cognition
  • combustion and friction-derived nanoparticles
  • dementia
  • females
  • food
  • gender
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • tauopathies
  • young adults.


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