You may have seen in the news today that several media outlets are reporting the story that living near busy roads could increase your risk of dementia.

trafficlight_150The news was based on research results from a Canadian study which found that living near a busy road was associated with a small increase in risk of developing dementia. Whilst this study adds to previous evidence that environmental factors could contribute towards our risk of dementia, they do not show that heavy traffic causes dementia. It remains unclear which aspect of living near a busy road – for example traffic noise or air pollution – is related to dementia risk.

Professor Martin Rossor, the UK’s National Institute for Health Research director for dementia research, said: “This is an important paper. The effects are small, but with a disorder with a high population prevalence, such effects can have important public health implications”.

For further information on this, our charity partners Alzheimer’s Society have written a blog post analysing the results. Alzheimer’s Research UK have also written an informative news post on the results, featuring the thoughts of Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK.