Traffic Pollution Linked to Reduced Grey Matter Development in Children

Post Date: January 24, 2020


These brain images of 12-year-old children show regions of the brain in red, orange and yellow that are most affected by traffic related air pollution (TRAP). Those regions denote a reduction in cortical thickness linked to elemental carbon attributed to traffic. Of these images, the darker the color, the stronger the effect. The study appears in PLOS One.

“While the percentage of loss is far less than what might be seen in a degenerative disease state, this loss may be enough to influence the development of various physical and mental processes.”

—Travis Beckwith, PhD

The new study published Jan. 24, 2020, in PLOS One was led by first author Travis Beckwith, PhD, and senior author Kim Cecil, PhD.

Their work adds to a collection of evidence from experts at Cincinnati Children’s and colleagues indicating that traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is contributing to health problems that extend beyond lung conditions.

Read more about the latest findings

Here are more air pollution-related findings published in recent months by experts at Cincinnati Children’s and the University of Cincinnati.



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The Research Horizons blog features news and insights about the latest discoveries and innovations developed by the scientists of Cincinnati Children's. This blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.