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The terraces, the envy of all neighborhoods


Many citizens have in this space their only option to go outdoors

The terraces have become the oasis in which to rest, read for a while, eat, exercise, and sunbathe when temperatures rise.

Now more than ever, those who decided that the terrace was the storage room do not have the perfect opportunity to free it up and make that open space the perfect place to rest and have the feeling of leaving home.

Oasis of life

At the moment, a simple balcony or terrace is the envy of the neighborhood, so we cannot afford not to have it in all its splendor, even taking the furniture from the inside to the outside.

Details full of colors such as textiles or plants can help us achieve a cozy space, where cushions can serve as improvised seats.

An important chapter is the covers with which we cover them, indicates Óscar Porras, from Ikea’s interior design department. It is time to wash them and check that they have not lost their color, and very importantly, “check the situation of the filling”. Shades like red, green, yellow are a refreshing option for this space.

If you have an umbrella, that’s great, you have to clean it, if not, a maxi umbrella is a perfect complement to improvise.

The Italian firm Missoni bets on rustic details, little treated wood, and pallets with wheels transformed into tables.
It is the best time to pay attention to the plants on the terrace “prune them, clean their leaves, wash the pots, transplant ” or make seedlings is another option to fill it with life and keep your mind busy.

In the case that the dimensions are those of a small balcony, it can also be made a small paradise. “A table and a couple of small chairs are enough”, adds Porras, who assures that in these cases a solution such as the folding ‘wall tables’ can cover a support function.

Solutions for everything

In the case of chairs, on a balcony, it is also better to look for solutions of folding elements to store them easily and to be able to ” rearrange ” the space for other activities.

From preparing a light meal, having a coffee, or doing crafts with the children, balconies, and terraces become our look at the street.

The furniture firm Keter bets on terraces as the perfect place to take a break during teleworking and focuses on finding the ideal furniture for each space.

Máximo García Anda, responsible for the brand’s outdoor furniture, advises opting for sets that “withstand” the sun without losing color or the rain without deteriorating, that are “resistant” and “easy” to clean with a damp cloth, but at the same time, soft to the touch.

If the idea is to take advantage of them at any time of day, nothing like thinking about when night falls, a time when lighting is key.

“The idea is to have solar LED lamps that transform the day sun into night light and do not need cables or plugs” warns the Ikea interior designer.

But since in times of crisis not everything is at hand, some candles can help us create the right atmosphere to continue enjoying the terrace when night falls.

This is how divorce can affect your physical and mental health


Higher levels of conflict predict poorer mental health, regardless of other factors

Going through a divorce is extremely complicated and previous research has already highlighted the adverse effects it can have on divorcees. A new study now published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology is the first to examine the health impacts immediately after a divorce.

The study found that the mental and physical health of the recent divorcees was worse than that of the source population and that higher levels of conflict predicted worse mental health, regardless of other factors. Understanding these effects could help researchers design interventions that help divorcees recover and avoid long-term repercussions.

Researchers have been examining the physical and mental effects of divorce but may have missed an opportunity to accurately characterize these effects until now. Divorce is often a lengthy process and many countries require a period of separation before couples can file for divorce. However, a prolonged separation may allow psychological wounds to heal, and the evaluation of divorcees after that period may underestimate its impact.

“Previous studies have not investigated the effects of divorce without long periods of separation occurring first,” says Professor Gert Hald of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. “We were able to study divorcees who had been granted a divorce called ‘immediate’ in Denmark and on average these divorcees obtained a divorce within 5 days of filing for it. “

This allowed Hald, Dr. Soren Sander, and their colleagues at the University of Copenhagen to obtain “real-time” data on 1,856 very recent divorcees, who completed questionnaires about their background, health, and divorce.

Unsurprisingly, the study showed that a recent divorce has an emotional and physical cost. “The mental and physical health of the divorced was significantly worse than the comparative background population immediately after the divorce,” Sander notes.

However, some interesting trends emerged from the data such as, for example, among men, earning more and being younger predicted better physical health, while having more children, having a new partner, and even having more prior divorces were associated with better mental health.
Among women, earning more money, having a new partner, and having fewer prior divorces were associated with better physical health, while initiating the divorce and having a new partner predicted better mental health.

However, one factor had a great influence on the divorce: the conflict. “Across genders, higher levels of divorce conflict were found to predict poorer mental health, even when other sociodemographic variables and characteristics of divorce are taken into account,” adds Sander.

So how can the findings help people get through a divorce with their health intact? Targeted interventions early in the process can be key.

“We need evidence-based interventions that can help divorcees immediately after divorce,” Hald explains. “These could include face-to-face or virtual interventions designed to reduce the specific adverse effects of divorce on physical and mental health. This would not only be beneficial to the divorced, but could also save money by counteracting the negative impacts of divorce on workplace productivity, sick days, doctor visits, and use of healthcare facilities. “

Nowhere like home


Work on great works of interior design and striking spaces such as Karl Lagerfeld’s bathroom

Nowhere like home could be the epigraph of the book ” Interiors “, which discovers the work of “greats” of interior design such as Elsie de Wolfe or Nancy Lancaster and surprising spaces such as Karl Lagerfeld’s bathroom, the Rockefeller music room or the intensity of the color of Frida Khalo’s kitchen.

A manual about the who’s who of the world of decoration in the past and present and looking to the future that includes designers, decorators, patrons, and artists, where figures such as Adolf Loos, Keith Fox, Georgia O’Keeffe or Antoni Gaudi have a lot of what to say.

“Interiors” presents 400 rooms that showcase everything from extraordinary castles to country houses, but also luxury penthouses and ranches in the desert, beach houses, and small and cute apartments, spread over more than 25 countries.

From houses in Italian palaces and villas where works of art coexist with exclusive velvet textiles and Louis XV design armchairs, to apparent and simple dining rooms with a table with straight lines, but with design, next to hallways or a bright house in the exclusive Martha’s Vineyard Island, south of the Cape Cod peninsula, on the east coast of the United States.

The book shows the creations of fashion designers, artists, movie stars, or “fashion icons,” Fox adds in a note, as well as influential figures with “memorable” contributions to the world of interior design.

“We wanted to make a compendium of the rooms and creators that people in the industry talk about most often when it comes to the interior decoration in the last hundred years,” says William Norwich, author of the foreword and former director of interior design and fashion in Vogue and The New York Times.

Coco Chanel’s home was located above her first store and has remained the same since her death in 1971. The Ministry of Culture classified it as a historical monument in 2013. It was accessed through a curved staircase mirror, where the designer could sit unseen on the steps and watch the reaction of your customers during the shows.
Avant-garde armchairs and Chinese lampshades made by hand with camellia motifs combine classic and exotic styles to create a space full of harmony.

One of the most current homes that appear in “Interiors” is that of the actress and producer of “Grey’s Anatomy”, Ellen Pompeo, a 1930 house in Los Angeles, Mediterranean-inspired, that she shares with her husband, the producer musical Chris Ivery and his two sons.

A renovation commissioned by Martyn Lawrence Bullard made the rooms look out onto the garden, featuring a large library in dark tones with metallic details.

The interior designer Roger de Cabrol, a disciple of Dalí, knew how to bring eccentricity to design by adapting two huge high-heeled shoes as armchairs in the living room of his home with a clear influence from the master from Figueras. A deep red, much like the yellow and blue of Frida Khalo’s family kitchen, is shown in the book.

Overlooking the Seine, the apartment of the dancer Rudolf Nureyev stood out for its opulence that included the bathroom that Emilio Carcano designed for him, a space that mixed the neoclassical style of Russian, French and Italian decorative elements, arts, with brown, gold, and red.

Nothing to do with that of Karl Lagerfeld, who since he arrived in France from his native Hamburg lived in more than twenty different houses. The creator did not leave the interior design to the mind of the interior designer, as happened with the home shown in Rome, in which he dressed his wood-paneled bathroom in which a spiral staircase leads to an upstairs bedroom.

Mentioning the Rockefeller last name is synonymous with luxury and power. The once home to generations of this dynasty, called Kykuit, is impressive both inside and out, and is largely due to the redesign of Ogden Codman Jr. The image of the music room presided over by a magnificent Miró is all a show of his power.

Homemade tricks to clean windows


To save you hours of cleaning and hundreds of euros, we tell you some little homemade tricks

Housework is a necessary and important job and one of the laziest cleaning tasks is cleaning the windows. The crystals are among the first places in the house that give the most dirt appearance and immediately lose their transparency. Keeping them clean is not only beneficial for your health, but it also prevents the appearance of dirt that is so ugly. In addition, choosing the perfect moment can make the difference between some flawless glasses and others not so much.

To save you hours of cleaning and hundreds of euros to your pocket, we bring you some small home tricks that will make your life easier when it comes to cleaning the windows of your home and achieve clean, bright, and impeccable windows.

Cleaning solution

For an effective cleaning formula, mix one-part white vinegar with three parts hot water, and mix thoroughly. So that it doesn’t smell too much of vinegar, you can add a few drops of lemon or lime.

Another effective cleaner is achieved by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of white vinegar, and half a teaspoon of liquid detergent. You introduce these mixtures in a spray and you can clean the windows at no cost.

Coffee filter

Do not buy rags or clothes every two by three to clean the windows and take advantage of the coffee filters to clean the windows to avoid scratches and stains.

Cloudy day

The solutions that you put on the windows should be a while to catch all the dirt, therefore, always choose a cloudy day to clean the windows. A very sunny day can cause the solution to evaporate prematurely and can leave very unsightly marks.

Another way to clean your windows without scratching them is to use old newsprint, never new as ink can stain. The paper is a miraculous trick since with it you can rub without fear of scratching the crystals. In addition, the newspaper will leave a small invisible layer that will make your glasses more resistant to dirt.

For extremely dirty windows, it is best to use a porous sponge and clean from the top to the bottom to avoid dripping water. A microfiber cloth will help to polish the glass when it is dry, being careful not to release lint that can stick to the glass.

Another little trick is to clean the interior glass, inside the house, with horizontal movements, and the exterior glass with vertical movements. Thus, if you have any markings or stripes left, you will know which side to review without going crazy looking for the origin of the mark.

Not all the tricks are only to clean the glass, since the windows also have blinds that, being outside, often get dirty. To clean and keep them that way, spray them with an antiseptic spray.


Tricks to clean the sofa and leave it as new


Sofa cleaning is something that should be done at least a couple of months a year

In times of confinement due to the coronavirus crisis, cleaning has become training for many. Remember that to keep housework up to date it is good to have a cleaning calendar and thus be able to organize yourself. If we manage to do some of our chores every day like this, we will avoid sticking one day with all household chores together. Today we teach you how to clean the sofa in a simple way and with which they will leave it as new.

The sofa is undoubtedly the star piece of any living room since on it we sit, rest and, in general, make life. But what happens when it gets dirty?

Some upholstery sofas can be removed, but if that is not your case, here we bring you a series of tricks that serve to clean these fabrics in this furniture and others such as chairs or car seats.

How to clean upholstery

There will be many sofas or chairs that you will not be able to remove, so you will have to clean them by hand. Start by cleaning the most superficial part of the furniture with a vacuum cleaner, taking with it all the dust and mites that are on it. If it is a large sofa and you cannot reach all the corners with the vacuum cleaner, you can help yourself with a brush.

Once you have removed all the dust, start cleaning it with a little ammonia diluted in warm water. Dampen a cloth in the mixture and rub it all over the upholstery from top to bottom.

When the furniture is completely dry you can check if it has any stains. In that case, you can use a conventional upholstery stain cleaner that you will find in stores or create a homemade one.

How to make a homemade upholstery cleaner?

To remove stubborn stains from sofas, chairs, or car upholstery, you can use sodium percarbonate. Dissolve 2 or 3 tablespoons of this powerful natural stain remover in a liter of hot water and apply the solution to the stains. Let it act for 5 to 10 minutes, rub it with a brush, rinse it with plenty of water, and let it dry to check its effect.

The best thing is that before using this homemade trick to clean upholstery you test on a small part of the fabric that is inconspicuous to make sure it will not discolor it.

Other tricks to clean upholstery

There are a number of other home tricks that will help you get rid of stains on upholstered furniture. Salt is a natural bleach that will help you remove grease stains. Mix a little salt with a little lemon juice and rub it on the stain to remove it without altering the composition of the fabric.

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best remedies that exist to remove sweat and bloodstains. If this is your case, it is best to dilute this product in the water before applying it, as it can be aggressive with fabrics. It is advisable to first try this solution in an inconspicuous area of ​​the sofa or chair.

What about leather?

Leather sofas are a trend that is gaining strength in our living rooms. However, keeping them as perfect as the first day is usually quite complicated, especially if you have children or pets in the house.

It may happen that with the simple passage of time, or due to the rubbing of a pointed object, the leather tears and small cuts appear on it. To get rid of them, you can start by cleaning the area around the scratch with small circular movements and without applying too much pressure. Then apply a little glue inside the hole that has been formed by the cut and glue both parts. For a more aesthetic result, make sure that both parts are smooth and aligned so that the imperfection that you have just corrected will not be noticed in the future. When you finish, clean the area again with the cleaner to remove any traces of glue that may have remained on the surface of the sofa.

The fight against HIV is backed down by the virus


The effect of covid on health will harm the fight against the disease

The coronavirus pandemic is going to cause “a more than likely setback” in the fight against HIV due to the “severe effect” it is having on health services and the prevention of the AIDS virus, experts warn.

On the eve of World AIDS Day, the AIDS Study Group (GeSIDA) of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (Seimc), indicates this Monday that, although these effects will not be known in a more concrete way until next year, an international study confirms the reduction of HIV diagnostic tests.

The study cited by GeSIDA, carried out between health and prevention services in 34 European countries, including Spain, between the last months of March and August, shows that 95% of those surveyed said they had carried out tests on less than half the number expected from people during the first months of the pandemic.

A trend that continued, although to a lesser degree, during the summer when measures to deal with the coronavirus were less strict in most countries, GeSIDA explains in a statement.

With the second wave and the new mobility restrictions in place, experts believe that the situation “may be similar” to then.

And it is that “in chronic infections such as HIV, delayed diagnosis and treatment can have long-term consequences” not only for patients but also for the global advances made against the virus, according to the president of GeSIDA, Esteban Martínez.

For this reason, this group of experts insists on “not lowering our guard” because if each year in Spain there are 3,500 new diagnoses of cases of the AIDS virus, “the effect of the coronavirus may lead to growth in the coming months.”
And one of the areas that, according to the experts, “can most notice” the effects of the covid-19 pandemic is prevention, as in the case of pre-exposure prophylaxis, PrEP, which in Spain “had begun to work but it has been left as a secondary issue or even paralyzed. “

Where Spain “most needed to improve” before the pandemic was in the diagnosis to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals: 90% of the population with diagnosed HIV infection; 90% of them are on antiretroviral treatment, and of the latter, 90% have suppressed viral load.

In this sense, it indicates that according to the latest report prepared by the National Epidemiology Center of the Carlos III Health Institute, almost 87% of the people the virus would know their diagnosis, which leaves 13% of people who do not know they have the infection.

Of the people living with HIV and who know their diagnosis, 93% are on antiretroviral therapy and 90% of these would have suppressed viral loads, thus achieving these two objectives.

SIDS emphasizes that it is “important” to ensure that the response to other infectious diseases is not compromised by the coronavirus pandemic and urges taking as an example the response strategy against COVID-19 in issues such as testing or contact tracing for use in the fight against HIV.

How to clean the inside of the washing machine?


The washing machine accumulates dirt with washing and can affect your own clothes

A washing machine is an appliance that bases its operation on the use of water for washing and this causes it to accumulate a lot of humidity inside. This factor can be decisive for the appearance of stains or problems when washing clothes.

In addition, it is one of the most used appliances in homes, since we all want to always have our clothes clean and ready to use them again. However, how to keep our washing machine clean inside is usually something that generally nobody knows. It is a care that the users themselves have to carry out, as one more maintenance task. In this way, we will ensure that our washing machine works correctly.

How to clean the inside of the washing machine?

-Activate the self-wash function: The best option to keep your washing machine clean and in good condition is to use the self-wash option. A lot of washing machines already have an automatic function, but others don’t. To find out how to activate it, you need to look at the instruction sheet for your washing machine and there you will discover which keys you must press to get it. If you do not know where you have them, you can look at the front panel where the buttons and wheels are to indicate the programs and you must mark the key that says ‘auto clean’ or some similar word.

-My washing machine does not have the self-wash function: First of all, we need the washing machine to be empty, but as a precaution, you can put an old towel so that the washing machine works with hardly any clothes to clean inside. Second, select 60 degrees of temperature and put a pinch of detergent in the detergent drawer. When it is running, add half a liter of vinegar and set the spin to the minimum.

With these steps, the washing machine would be clean and ready to be used. In addition, we tell you six quick and easy cleaning tricks. Also, if you strictly follow these tips, you can avoid calling a professional for a while.

1. Clean the drum

Although the drum appears clean, there are many small edges and corners that can collect some germs and bacteria. The best trick to combat them is to do a wash without clothes every few months with two tablets of a dishwasher at 60 ° C. This kills the germs and also dissolves the lime deposits.

2. Clean the detergent box

Soap and fabric softener dispensers tend to collect a lot of residues. Also, space tends to stay damp and mold builds up more quickly. To clean it, it is best to use a toothbrush to get to the bottom. And if you prefer, you can always remove the compartment from the washing machine and run it through the water. You will notice a big difference in your clothes!

3. Clean the rubber on the door

Rubber is the place where mold, odors, and germs are most concentrated because it retains moisture. However, it is a fundamental part of the washing machine because it ensures that the water does not leak out of the drum.

If the seal is dirty, your clothes can get dirty when you take them out of the washing machine. Don’t let dirt and grime accumulate there, and also stain your clothes. Therefore clean the rubber before and after each wash.

4. Clean the washer filter

The particle filter is responsible for protecting the drum from dirt. However, it can be clogged with cloth scraps, tissues, or coins. In addition, germs and fungi can also accumulate in the filter, reaching your clothes. This is why it is important to clean it regularly.

The filter is usually located at the bottom of the washing machine, behind a protective cover. To clean it, the appliance must be unplugged. It is also advisable to put a towel under the lid as normally when you open it, a small amount of dirty water comes out.

Make sure to remove the remains of threads, papers, dirt, and all kinds of objects that have been filtered. Next, he takes a screwdriver and turns a turbine that it has inside to be able to remove the remains. When you think everything is clean, close to the small device.

5. Eliminate bad odors

Has it ever happened to you that when you opened the washing machine it smelled very bad? This happens when a lot of mold builds up. Solve this problem in the following way: when the equipment finishes the wash cycle, leave the door open so that the air can circulate. You will ensure that no odor is formed by the humidity.

6. Pay attention to the detergent

In the supermarket, there is a wide variety of detergents for washing machines. But which one is right for you? Here we recommend that you use powder detergent since liquid detergents promote the appearance of mold.

Objective: to improve the quality of life in people with HIV


Currently, about 39% of patients diagnosed with this virus suffer from depression. One of the main problems is that 47.6% of new diagnoses are late

For years they have been discriminated against, set aside, and stigmatized. Since the 1980s, people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have lived in silence for fear of being rejected. However, despite the fact that there are currently around 150,000 people infected with HIV in Spain, it remains a silenced disease full of taboos.

The medical advances that have been achieved throughout these four decades have meant that today, “a person who has HIV but who takes the medication correctly, has an undetectable viral load and, therefore, does not transmit that infection ” Explains Dr. Celia Miralles, from the HIV Unit of the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital in Vigo. In this sense, the doctor remarks that “it is one of the most important factors in terms of the quality of life of patients. “

However, the problem is that “we have patients with a perfectly controlled infection, but they present symptoms of depression and anxiety “, laments the head of the Infectious Diseases Unit of the University Hospital of Valencia, Pepa Galindo. In fact, according to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, currently, 39% of HIV patients suffer from depression.

Galindo points out that, very often, people who have aged with the virus have problems of social isolation: “we have a psychologist who comes on Fridays and helps patients to accept the disease, accept it and learn to live with it”. However, Dr. Celia Miralles explains that “many people experience their medical situation with guilt, discrimination, and loneliness. “

Another key factor in the quality of life of these patients is the role played by foundations and NGOs. Many of these organizations have support programs, training, and workshops. “Many of the patients find in foundations spaces where they can share their experiences with other people who are in the same situation,” says Galindo.

On the other hand, people with HIV infection are often more likely to suffer from other cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Dr. Galindo explains that 60% of the patients in her office are over 50 years old, an age at which pathologies such as diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol usually appear. “What we have seen is that people with HIV tend to have accelerated aging that causes them to suffer from other diseases sooner, ” Galindo warns. Along these lines, several studies indicate that in this type of patient, kidney problems, diabetes and hypertension could appear between five and 10 years earlier than in people without HIV.

Something that could be avoided with an early diagnosis. One of the main problems in HIV patients, according to government data, is that 47.6% of new diagnoses are detected late. As Dr. Miralles sees it, “late diagnosis is associated with higher mortality. If you are older and have any other pathology, you will have a worse response to medication “. In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report stating that starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) earlier could help people who have been infected live longer and prevent three million more deaths and 3.5 million more new HIV infections by 2025. According to Dr. Miralles, delays in diagnosis occur “because many people do not have a perception of risk . “

In addition, the saturation of the health system that has caused the pandemic caused by the coronavirus has also affected the detection of new cases of HIV infection. “Last year, after the summer, we had many new cases and now few are coming, ” Galindo highlights. Far from thinking that there have been no new infections, Galindo perceives that isolation and the difficulty of accessing primary health centers have led to fewer serological tests being carried out.

The health crisis has also completely altered the circuits of care and monitoring of patients with HIV. “In the Valencian Community we send the medication by mail and we carry out the consultations by telephone,” explains Dr. Galindo. However, Galindo regrets that between consultations, which occur every six months, a lot happens. That is why he defends the idea of ​​creating virtual hospitals or applications so that “patients can solve problems with more agility”.

How to clean the oven in a simple way


With the tricks that we show you, you can remove all the dirt in a simple way

The oven is, without a doubt, one of the appliances that give more problems to clean. The dirt that accumulates in the oven is one of the most difficult to remove, but there is a solution for everything. Whether it’s electricity or gas, the key is to find the right products. Products cleaning for the oven there are many, but sometimes the solution is “ingredients” that we all have at home and those who can do the best oven cleaner (and cheap, very cheap).

With the tricks that we show you below, you can remove all the dirt easily and with natural products.


Vinegar is one of the star products in home cleaning. It is capable of removing dirt and killing germs and bacteria due to its antibacterial qualities. This product is usually used at home to clean bathrooms and sinks, but it can also be useful for cleaning the oven.

Pour the vinegar into a sprayer and coat the walls of the appliance. Afterward, heat it for 10 minutes at about 100 to 120 degrees. After this time you will only have to remove the softened dirt with a damp cloth or cloth.


Lemon juice is a powerful degreaser, as well as an antibacterial and antiseptic product useful for eliminating microorganisms that accumulate in our oven.
Cut two or three lemons and squeeze their juice. Pour the juice into a saucepan and place it in the oven. Keep it for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. After this time, remove the saucepan and clean the oven walls simply with a cloth.

Sodium bicarbonate

Vinegar can be very effective, but if you also add a little baking soda, the oven will be flawless. These two products react by forming a white foam that will help you remove stains from the oven.

Cars and fires join the list of Alzheimer’s risk factors


The higher the air pollution, the higher the probability of amyloid plaques

A new study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has found that among older Americans with cognitive impairment, the higher the air pollution in their neighborhood, the greater the likelihood of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of the disease. of Alzheimer.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, adds to a body of evidence indicating that pollution from cars, factories, power plants, and wildfires adds to established dementia risk factors such as smoking and diabetes.

The researchers looked at the positron emission scans of more than 18,000 older people whose average age was 75 with dementia or mild cognitive impairment and who lived in zip codes across the nation. They found that those in the most contaminated areas were 10% more likely that a PET scan would show amyloid plaques, compared to those in the least contaminated areas.

“This study provides additional evidence to a growing and convergent literature, ranging from animal models to epidemiological studies, that suggests that air pollution is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” says lead author Gil Rabinovici, UCSF Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology and the Weill Institute of Neurosciences.

The 18,178 participants had been recruited for the IDEAS (Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning) study, which had enrolled Medicare beneficiaries whose mild cognitive impairment or dementia had been diagnosed after a comprehensive evaluation.

It was later found that not all participants had positive PET scans: 40% showed no evidence of plaques on the scan, suggesting diagnoses other than Alzheimer’s, such as frontotemporal or vascular dementias, that are not associated with telltale amyloid plaques.

Air pollution in the neighborhood

Air pollution in each participant’s neighborhood was estimated with data from the Environmental Protection Agency that measured ground-level ozone and PM2.5, atmospheric particulate material that has a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometers.
The researchers also divided the locations into quartiles based on the concentration of PM2.5. They found that the probability of a positive PET scan progressively increased as contaminant concentrations increased, and predicted a 10% probability difference between the least and most contaminated areas.

“Exposure in our daily life to PM2.5, even at levels that would be considered normal, could contribute to inducing a chronic inflammatory response,” says first author Leonardo Iaccarino, also from the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology and the Weill Institute for Neuroscience – Over time, this could affect brain health in a number of ways, including contributing to the build-up of amyloid plaques. “

Overall PM2.5 concentrations would not be considered too high to have a significant association with amyloid plaques, which is equivalent to annual averages in San Francisco during the time of the study, Rabinovici adds.

“I think it’s very appropriate that air pollution has been added to the modifiable risk factors highlighted by the Lancet Commission on dementia,” he acknowledges, referring to the magazine’s decision this year to include air pollution, along with binge drinking and traumatic brain injury, to your list of risk factors.

The study complements previous large-scale studies linking air pollution to dementia and Parkinson’s disease and adds novel findings by including a cohort with mild cognitive impairment, a frequent precursor to dementia, and using amyloid plaques as a biomarker of the illness.