Poor Air Quality Likely To To cause Cognitive Development Issues in Babies

In Education

Recent findings from the University of East Anglia indicate that poor air quality may be responsible for impaired cognitive function in infants and young children.

Polluted air may derail brain development in kids

According to a recent study published today, poor air quality in India has been linked to cognitive impairments in children under two, which could have long-term consequences on their brain development.

Professor John Spencer, the lead researcher from the School of Psychology at UEA, emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue, as previous studies have demonstrated that poor air quality has been associated with cognitive deficits and behavioral and emotional problems could adversely affect families.

The movement of minuscule particulate matter from the respiratory system to the brain is a significant concern as it can cause cognitive problems. However, previous research has not established a connection between cognitive impairments and poor air quality during the crucial period of brain development in infants. The study becomes the first to demonstrate this correlation.

The study aimed to investigate the impact of indoor air quality on infants’ cognitive abilities by partnering with families residing in rural areas of India. To conduct the research, the team joined hands with the Community Empowerment Lab, a worldwide organization focused on global health research and innovation that cooperates with rural populations to participate in scientific studies collaboratively.

Researchers evaluated visual processing and working memory

Researchers evaluated the visual working memory and visual processing speed of 215 infants in Shivgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, a rural community that suffers from poor air quality. The study took place from October 2017 to June 2019, and the infants were assessed using a unique cognitive task that involved flashing colored squares.

The researchers aimed to determine the infants’ ability to detect changing squares and how well they performed as the task became more challenging. The task took advantage of infants’ tendency to look away from familiar things and toward new stimuli. To ensure the accuracy of their findings, the team incorporated air quality monitors in the homes of the children they studied to determine emission levels and air quality.

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