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Volume 1 Issue 5, May 2021

Air pollution and cognitive health

In this issue, a cohort study led by Xu Gao reports the negative impact of short-term exposure to air pollution on cognitive function of older men, and that such impact is lower among individuals pre-scribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The cover design illustrates the impact of air pollution on cognitive health by depicting common sources of air pollution (for example, air and surface traffic, power plants and factories) and a central cooling tower emitting a smoke cloud in the shape of the human brain.

Image: Chris Madden / Moment / Getty. Cover design: Lauren Heslop.

Comment & Opinion

  • The editors speak to Louise Aronson, geriatrician and Pulitzer Prize finalist, about how old age is perceived and defined, and the influence of social determinants on health. Aronson reflects on her experiences caring and advocating for older adults, and outlines some of the challenges to be addressed during the UN Decade of Healthy Aging.

    • Briony Jain


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News & Views

  • Long-term exposure to air pollution is harmful to human health, causing damage to respiratory and cardiovascular systems. A new study provides evidence that even short-term, relatively low-level air pollution can be detrimental for cognitive function, and suggests the possibility that a commonly used drug might help reduce the harmful effects.

    • Joanne Ryan
    • Alice J. Owen
    News & Views
  • Chronic inflammation, or ‘inflammaging’, is a key process in age-related diseases, and identification of the molecular players involved is a top priority. Cai and Han identified an evolutionary conserved functional lncRNA able to modulate the release of inflammatory SASP molecules from senescent cells through the NF-κB pathway.

    • Rosario Avolio
    • Elias Bechara
    • Gian Gaetano Tartaglia
    News & Views
  • The tumor microenvironment (TME) impacts different phases of tumor progression and therapy resistance. Zhang et al. show that senescent stromal cells activate an epigenetic program that controls the senescence-associated secretory phenotype and can be targeted to boost responses to chemotherapy.

    • Maria Andrea Desbats
    • Sara Zumerle
    • Andrea Alimonti
    News & Views
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