(Black Press Media files)

Living near major roads linked to higher risk of dementia, Parkinson’s: UBC study

Green space could mitigate some of the risks, researchers found

Living near major roads is linked to a higher risk of neurological disorders, a study from the University of B.C. has found.

Researchers analyzed data from 678,000 people in Metro Vancouver between the ages of 45-84 from 1994 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2003.

During the follow up, they identified around 20,000 cases of non-Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The study looked at how living within 50 metres of a major road, or 150 metres from a highway, increased the risk of these degenerative neurological diseases. Little is known so far about why those diseases progress.

Because relatively few people had Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis in the region, researchers focused on non-Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The data showed a 14-per-cent increase in non-Alzheimer’s dementia and a seven-per-cent uptick in Parkinson’s for those living near major routes.

The effect was largely due to air pollution, but could be mitigated through living near green spaces.

“More research is needed, but our findings do suggest that urban planning efforts to increase accessibility to green spaces and to reduce motor vehicle traffic would be beneficial for neurological health,” said lead author Weiran Yuchi, a PhD candidate at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health.

Researchers believe green space could lessen the risk of neurological disorders in several ways.

“For people who are exposed to a higher level of green space, they are more likely to be physically active and may also have more social interactions,” said professor and senior study author Michael Brauer. “There may even be benefits from just the visual aspects of vegetation.”

ALSO READ: Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brentwood jr. girls playing at B.C. hoops championship

Brentwood College School’s junior girls basketball team is making history this week.… Continue reading

Lake Cowichan, Duncan to host Masters Curling Championship

Begining next Tuesday and running until March 8

North Cowichan to seek suggestions from First Nation in renaming street

Section of Humbird Street in Chemainus was to be renamed MacMillan Street

Cowichan’s Mikrogiannakis a finalist for BCHL MVP and top defenceman

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis is a B.C. Hockey League all-star,… Continue reading

Cowichan Tribes to get $750,000 for erosion projects on Cowichan River

Funding comes from the province’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund

VIDEO: Reconciliation is dead: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Blockade reroutes traffic on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Most Read