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Long-term exposure to particulates from wildfire smoke linked to dementia risk, new study finds

Smoke permeates everything and impacts everyone. The visible stew of carbon and particulates typically from emission sources travels in the air, shrouds buildings, suffocates birds, and penetrates deep into the lungs. Now researchers believe wildfire smoke may impact the brain too.

Scientists found that people living in areas with high levels of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, could have a greater risk of developing dementia in their late stage of life. “We saw specifically that emissions from agriculture and wildfires may be more harmful to the brain,” said Boya Zhang, the lead author of a new study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. “It’s really intriguing to us,” the doctoral student at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health in Ann Arbor told STAT.

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