Air pollution may have harmful effects on adolescent mental health

Air pollution may have adverse effects on mental health, especially in teenagers, according to new research. Growing up in polluted environments may increase the risk of psychosis.

Studies conducted by scientistsow from King's College London indicate a link between air pollution and psychotic episodes in adolescence. For the first time, scientists have linked a particularogeographic data on air pollution with cases of crotkotemporary disorders with symptoms appropriate for psychosis.

Psychotic experiences, such as delusions, hallucinations or symptoms of paranoia, are less extreme forms of the symptomow experienced by people with disorders such as schizophrenia. While psychotic experiences are more common in adolescence, young people whooers report such sensations are more likely to develop psychotic disorders, as well as a range of other problematicow with mental health, and even prob selfojczych.

The results of the study appeared in the journal „JAMA Psychiatry”.

Researchers from King's College London in their analysis used data from 2232 young osob born in England and Wales. They found that approximately one-third of teenagersow reported a disturbance in her perception of reality at least once between the ages of 12 and 18. Such episodes can be a gateway to more serious conditionsoin psychotic.

Young people were evaluated for psychotic experiences during private interviewsow carried out at age 18. Responded m.in. To such questions: „Do you hear voices thators others do not hear?” or „Have you ever thought you were being watched, followed or spied on?”.

Researchers found that psychotic experiences were significantly more common among theod young people with the highest exposures to nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides and atmospheric aerosols – particulate matter – That is, PM2.5, even after taking into account known factorsoin the risk of psychosis. Together, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides accounted for 60 percent of the. casesoin the association between living in a polluted environment and psychotic experiences of the.

– We have found that psychotic experiences among theod teenagersow were more common in urban areas. Although the study did not show that pollution caused adolescents’oin psychotic experiences, our findings suggest that poor air quality somehowob is associated with psychotic experiences – said Joanne Newbury, head of theowna author of the publication.

РPsychotic disorders are difficult to treat and place a huge burden on osob, families, systemoin health care and society more broadly. By better understanding what leads to psychotic experiences during adolescence, we can prob to deal with them earlier and prevent the development of psychotic disorders and other serious problemsow with mental health Рpointed out Helen Fisher, coo³author of the study.

Another of the author’soin the study, Frank Kelly, acknowledged that children and adolescents are most vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution. – Given that by 2050, 70 percent of the. of the world’s population will live in cities, the discovery of the mechanismow linking the urban environment to psychosis should be a health priority. Analyzing the impact of air pollution on health is a key part of civic responsibility, he stressed.

Scientists acknowledge, however, that more research is needed, ktore to track the link between air pollution and psychotic experiences over longer periods of time. It is necessary to roalso take steps to understand whether there are biological mechanisms linking air pollution to psychotic experiences in adolescents.