Air pollution hazards for childhood neurodevelopmental and behavioural disorders represent a new horizon for research of major worldwide impact. BREATHE addresses this issue using unconventional and innovative epidemiological methods interfaced with environmental chemistry and neuroimaging.
The overall objective of the BREATHE project is to detect the neurodevelopmental (cognitive, behavioural, and neurostructural) effects of urban air pollution. To this aim, BREATHE combines epidemiological, psychometric, genetic, neuroimaging and mathematical approaches.
About 2,900 school age children attending those schools participated in the study, whose cognitive development was assessed through long-term change in working memory and attention using computerized tests (n-back task and Attentional Network Test [ANT]). From the BREATHE participants, 1,778 children were selected for genome-wide genotyping and 263 children were included in the neuroimaging (MRI) study.
We performed comprehensive characterisation of indoor and outdoor air quality in 39 schools in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) focusing on PM2.5 and its chemical components, BC, UFP and NO2.
This project was funded by the European Commission (FP7-ERC-2010-AdG, ID 268479).
Background and motivation
Air pollution hazards for childhood neurodevelopmental and behavioural disorders represent a new horizon for research of major worldwide impact.