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And today begins with an international study that suggests air pollution may be damaging the people's ability to think. The study came out Tuesday in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. What researchers did was examine information for a survey conducted in China.

It contained verbal and math test scores given to 32,000 people between 2010 and 2014 and the study found that the more polluted their counties were at the time of the test, the more their test scores went down.

Researchers say the biggest difference was found in older, less educated men. And as far as dangers go, the study suggests that air pollution could increase people's chances of developing diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. The study was specific to China, a nation with several cities that have grappled with severe air pollution but researchers say the findings could be applied to countries around the world. One thing scientists didn't find out was how pollution could hurt the brain. And some folks not involved in the study are skeptical.

National Public Radio spoke to James Hendricks (ph), an official with the Alzheimer's Association and he says he doesn't think a direct cause between air pollution and brain function can be proven. That part of the study's findings are speculative. He adds that as far as Alzheimer's goes, other factors like diet, social interaction and exercise all play a role in people's risk for developing the disease.





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