Pollution’s Hand in Bipolar Disorder, Depression

Air pollution is significantly associated with the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders, according to a new study published in PLOS Biology.
 
Looking at health insurance claims for bipolar disorder, major depression, personality disorder and schizophrenia, as well as epilepsy and Parkinson’s, researchers found a 27% increase in bipolar disorder and 6% increase in depression in intensely polluted US counties. They found a similar association analyzing individual-level exposure in Denmark.
 
It’s not definitive proof that pollution causes mental illness, cautions study author Andrey Rzhetsky of the University of Chicago—but it shows where the risks may be elevated.
 
Using a clean environment to treat such disorders would be “the holy grail,” Rzhetsky told National Geographic.

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