(Black Press Media files)

(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

Rose Ellis, 93, and her Shih Tzu, Zoey, have been clients of ElderDog Victoria since last summer. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria ElderDog program seeking more seniors, pups to support

Service helps elderly people to care for their canine companions

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Metchosin woman’s trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop is changing owners with longtime owner Odean Long transferring ownership Dec. 1 to William Matthews. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Longtime owner of Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop closes chapter with sale

Odean Long and her late husband moved the business to Sidney in 1996

Goldstream Food Bank volunteers at work. Light Up the City will be offering various options for the public to drop off non-perishable food items to support this food bank and others in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can show their charity through Light Up the City

Drive-thru food bank and toy donation dropoff sites open up this Saturday around region

Oak Bay police were searching for two men caught on camera dumping garbage bags on the side of Brighton Avenue on Nov. 26. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATED: No charges pursued after police identify suspects in littering incident on Oak Bay street

Garbage bags left on side of Brighton Avenue won’t lead to $81 ticket

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read