The pathogenic effects of particulate matter on neurodegeneration: a review

Ran You, Yuen Shan Ho, Raymond Chuen Chung Chang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing amount of particulate matter (PM) in the ambient air is a pressing public health issue globally. Epidemiological studies involving data from millions of patients or volunteers have associated PM with increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly and cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative pathology across all age groups, suggesting that PM may be a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases affect an increasing population in this aging society, putting a heavy burden on economics and family. Therefore, understanding the mechanism by which PM contributes to neurodegeneration is essential to develop effective interventions. Evidence in human and animal studies suggested that PM induced neurodenegerative-like pathology including neurotoxicity, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and damage in blood–brain barrier and neurovascular units, which may contribute to the increased risk of neurodegeneration. Interestingly, antagonizing oxidative stress alleviated the neurotoxicity of PM, which may underlie the essential role of oxidative stress in PM’s potential effect in neurodegeneration. This review summarized up-to-date epidemiological and experimental studies on the pathogenic role of PM in neurodegenerative diseases and discussed the possible underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognitive dysfunctions
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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