On air pollution, Headaches and Multiple Sclerosis

Headaches and air pollution

Alina Vodonos and her team examined the association between headaches complaints and exposure to air pollution in a population of 18,065 patients admitted to Soroka University Medical Center during the years 2002-2011 (Vodonos et al, 2015).

The researchers assessed the short-term effects of meteorological and air pollution factors and found that an increase in temperature and NO2 levels was associated with an increased risk of emergency department visits due to headache. NO2 are air pollutants commonly emitted by motor vehicles and industrial processes, especially fossil fuel combustion at power plants.

Interestingly, the effect of this pollutant seems to be increased with older age.


Multiple Sclerosis and air pollution

In a study led by Miri Elgabsi, we examined an association between incidence of MS, moderate to severe relapses, and exposure to air pollutants and meteorological exposures (Elgabsi et al, 2021).

The information on PM2.5 and PM10 exposure assessments utilized hybrid satellite based spatial models developed by Kloog et al, allowing daily estimates with a spatial resolution of 1 × 1 km2. The information on exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) levels were completed from the database of the monitoring stations.

Our findings indicate a positive association between MS relapses and environmental exposure to PM and NO2, supported by two methodologies used in the study, time series techniques and case-crossover approach.