The greater the exposure of the child before the age of five, the greater the alteration in brain structure observed in preadolescence, according to the team led by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal). .
“The novelty of the present study is that it identified periods of susceptibility to air pollution. We measured exposure using a finer timescale by analyzing month-by-month data , unlike previous studies in which data were analyzed for trimesters of pregnancy or childhood years,” said Anne-Claire Binter, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study.
In this study, “we analyzed children’s exposure to air pollution from conception to 8.5 years of age on a monthly basis,” Binter added.
In addition to the association between air pollution and white matter microstructure, the study also found a link between specific fine particulate (PM2.5) exposure and putamen volume. a brain structure involved in motor function, learning processes and many other functions.
Abnormal white matter microstructure has been associated with psychiatric disorders (depressive symptoms, anxiety, and autism spectrum disorders).