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Impact of Climate Change on Neurologic Health Reviewed

Associations seen for temperature extremes and variability with stroke, migraines, hospitalization in dementia, MS exacerbations

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The impact of climate change on neurologic health is explored in a review published online Nov. 16 in Neurology.

Shreya Louis, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine three themes related to climate change and neurologic health: extreme weather events and temperature fluctuations, emerging neuroinfectious diseases, and pollutant impacts.

The researchers identified 364 articles: 38, 37, and 289 relating to extreme weather events and temperature fluctuations, emerging neuroinfectious diseases, and pollutant impacts, respectively. The studies highlighted the associations between exacerbation of neurologic symptoms and temperature variability, tick-borne infections and warming climates, and airborne pollutants and incidence and severity of cerebrovascular disease. Associations were seen for temperature extremes and variability with stroke incidence and severity, migraine headaches, hospitalization in patients with dementia, and exacerbations of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, exposure to airborne pollutants was associated with stroke incidence and severity, headaches, risk for dementia, Parkinson disease, and exacerbation of multiple sclerosis.

“Our review did not find any articles related to effects on neurologic health from food and water insecurity, yet these are clearly linked to neurologic health and climate change,” a coauthor said in a statement. “More studies are needed on ways to reduce neuroinfectious disease transmission, how air pollution affects the nervous system, and how to improve delivery of neurologic care in the face of climate-related disruptions.”

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