A curious new study revealed that older men taking anti-inflammatories like aspirin might be protected against the short-term effects of air pollution, which is curious, to say the least.
The study behind that conclusion involved nearly a thousand white males in the greater Boston Area, Sciencealert reports.
It turned out that an intake of even low levels of delicate particulate matter plus black carbon can provoke a decrease in cognitive function in the short term.
The study authors failed to find an apparent relationship between aspirin and how it changes brain function. Still, those who consumed non-steroidal anti-inflammatories performed considerably better on tests that analyze memory, concentration, and instructions following.
“Our study indicates that short-term air pollution exposure may be related to short-term alterations in cognitive function and that NSAIDs may modify this relationship,” stated the authors of the study.
The researchers believe that it might have something to do with how aspirin decreases inflammation in the brain, which can turn chronic if air pollution is too severe.
However, that is just a hypothesis for the moment. It’s still unknown what the short-term impacts of air pollution in the human brain are. Scientists will require some further clinical trials among more numerous control populations to determine if non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, like aspirin, actually have a relevant impact on those effects.
Even if the effects turn out true, intaking aspirin is not a solution to the global air pollution problem.
Over increased periods of time, even small amounts of the medicine can imply risks of significant haemorrhage.
Andrea Baccarelli, an environmental health scientist, said in an interview with The Guardian:
“Our study indicates that short-term air pollution exposure may be related to short-term alterations in cognitive function and that NSAIDs may modify this relationship”