Brain function limited by exhaust fumes after only a short time – healing practice

How exhaust fumes affect our brains

Even relatively short loads through Automatic gases According to a recent study, sufficient for brain function to deteriorate. Hence the polluted air affects important brain regionswith who cognitive performance connected.

Canadian research team University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria It was shown in the first study of its kind that brief exposure to natural air pollution by Traffic exhaust It is enough to double the functions of the human brain. The research results were recently published in the journal “environmental health” Presented.

Two hours in polluted air is enough

already one Two hour download by diesel exhaust gases According to the study, normal amounts lead to a decrease in functional contact from the brain. According to the working group, the study thus provides the first evidence of air pollution from exhaust gases The ability to think of humans can be restricted.

The brain is not protected from air pollution

For decades, scientists have believed that the brain is protected from the harmful effects of air pollution.explains the lead author of the study Professor dr. Chris Carlsten from the University of British Columbia. This study, the first of its kind in the world, provides new evidence for one The relationship between air pollution and cognition.

The first study of this kind

For the study, 25 healthy participants stayed briefly in a laboratory room where a Habitual exposure to exhaust fumes in traffic Rule. The subjects’ brain activity before and after exposure to the polluted air was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

The comparison showed that after exposure to air pollution, a change occurred in the so-called network default mode gave the brain. This is a group together connected brain regionswhich plays an important role in memory and on Think game.

Important brain regions work less well together

When the air was clean, these brain regions worked together more effectively, while when the air was polluted, the connectivity of the regions decreased.

“We know that altered functional connectivity in the default mode network is associated with decreased cognitive performance and depressive symptoms, so it is concerning to see traffic pollution disrupting the networks themselves.”Professor of psychology and first author of the study Dr. Judy Gorelock Outside.

“While more research is needed to fully understand the functional implications of these changes, it is possible that they could affect people’s thinking or their ability to function.”sums up Professor Gawryluk.

Changes appear to be sporadic

Another finding of the study is that the changes in the brain caused by exhaust fumes only appear to be temporary. Connectivity between brain regions improved again when the participants spent some time in the fresh air.

However, the working group notes that permanent damage cannot be ruled out if there is regular and ongoing exposure to the charges. However, this was not examined in the study.

Breathing less polluted air

“It is important to make sure that your car’s air filter is in good condition, and if you are walking or cycling on a busy road, you should choose a less traveled path.”Dr. recommends. Carlsten. (FP)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines, and current studies and has been vetted by medical professionals.


Graduate Editor (FH) Volker Plasek


  • University of British Columbia: Traffic pollution impairs brain function (veröffentlicht: 24.01.2023),
  • Judy R. Gaurilock, Daniela J. Palumbo, Jason Curran, et al: Brief exposure to diesel exhaust impairs brain functional connectivity in humans: a randomized controlled study; In: Environmental Health (2023),

important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.


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