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Neurobehavioral effects of fine particulate air pollution in primary schoolchildren (R-3262)

The cardiorespiratory effects of particulate air pollution have been largely investigated. In contrast, little is known about the neurological effects. Studies in animals suggest biological plausibility of detrimental neurological effects of air pollution. However, information based on studies in humans is very limited. OBJECTIVES 1. To investigate the association between residential distance to major roads and the neurobehavioral function of children. 2. To investigate the association between averaged fine-particulate exposure in early lifetime and the neurobehavioral function. 3. To study the variation in cognitive performance in association with acute changes in air pollution in a panel of school children. 4. To investigate the acute effects of peaks of air pollution on the neurobehavioral function. 5. To investigate whether the association between acute and chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution and children's neurobehavioral function differs by polymorphisms of two metabolic genes: CYP1A1 and GSTT1. METHODOLOGY Study design: A cross-sectional analysis will be applied to investigate the association between chronic exposure to air pollution and the neurobehavioral development of children. The acute effects will be investigated in a panel study. Ten measurements will be performed over a period of 2 years. Participants: Primary schools will participate in the study. In order to maximize between subject differences in exposure to air pollution, schools located in urbanized and rural areas w ill be included. Pupils from between the age of 7 and 10 at the moment of recruitment will be enrolled in the study. The parents of the children and the teachers will be asked to fill in a short questionnaire providing additional information. Neurobehavioral function assessment: As an indicator of the neurobehavioral function, we will evaluate cognitive performance of children using Neurobehavioral Evaluation System (NES). This computer-administered test battery evaluates cognitive functions such as memory, attention, learning and psychomotor performance. It was designed in order to detect the effects of neurotoxicants on the central nervous system. Exposure assessment : Two indicators of the chronic exposure will be used in the study: the distance to major roads and estimates of the actual concentrations of nitric dioxide, black carbon and particulate matter. Time weighted exposure indicators will be constructed based on the children's residence and locations of schools and crèches that they attended. Acute exposure measurements will be based on ultra-fine particulates (P-track) and carbon content in the air. DNA collection: T-Swabs will be used as an advanced version of buccal swabs that are designed for a high-yield DNA retrieval and convenient transport. DNA will be isolated to genotype for metabolic polymorphism of two metabolic genes: CYP1A1 and GSTT1.
Date:1 Oct 2011  →  30 Sep 2013
Keywords:air pollution, neurobehavioral function, neurodevelopment, particulate matter
Disciplines:Biological sciences