What does microplastic do to the brain? The new research is clear

What does microplastic do to the brain?  The new research is clear

Microplastics and nanoplastics are ubiquitous in water, food and the blood of adults. And it has an impact on the body’s health.

Experts have calculated that we unknowingly eat a teaspoon of microplastics every week. In addition, there is an even more dangerous – because it is even smaller – nanoplastic. Now scientists from Duke University in the US have shown that nanoplastics may contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Microplastics and nanoplastics are ubiquitous

Microplastics are plastic particles with sizes of 0.1-5000 micrometers. It is found in hair, skin, saliva and even blood. An even more difficult enemy is nanoplastic – these are plastic particles even smaller than microplastics. Those that have a diameter of 1-100 nm. This allows them to penetrate the tissues. It is already said that their presence causes increased inflammation and oxidative stress.

How do nanoplastics affect the risk of Parkinson’s?

Nanoplastics interact with a specific protein naturally found in the brain, causing changes associated with Parkinson’s disease and some types of dementia. The plastic polystyrene nanoparticles the scientists looked at, typically found in single-use items such as disposable drinking cups and cutlery. These are the main findings of the study published in Science Advances.

“Our study suggests that the emergence of micro and nanoplastics in the environment may pose a new toxin challenge to the risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease. This is particularly worrying considering the expected increase in the concentration of these contaminants in our food supply,” said Prof. Andrew West, lead author of the study.

Prof. West added that the most surprising discovery is the tight bonds formed between the plastic and the protein in the area of ​​the neuron. Scientists have studied these connections in test tubes, cultured neurons and in mice. As they emphasize, similar research in humans is necessary. “The technology needed to monitor nanoplastics is still in its earliest possible stages and is not yet ready to answer all our questions,” said Prof. West.

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