Extremely Polluted Environment Reflected in Degenerative CNS Diseases

Special Article - Vitamins

Ann Nutr Disord & Ther. 2020; 7(2): 1066.

Extremely Polluted Environment Reflected in Degenerative CNS Diseases

Richter J1, Vetvicka V2*, Richterova S3 and Král V1

¹Usti nad Labem Medical Institute, Czech Republic

²Department of Pathology, University of Louisville, USA

³Usti nad Labem, Zdravotni Pojistovna, Czech Republic

*Corresponding author: Vaclav Vetvicka, Department of Pathology, University of Louisville, 511 S Floyd, Louisville, KY, 40292, USA

Received: October 06, 2020; Accepted: October 27, 2020; Published: November 03, 2020


We followed up the effects of environmental contaminants on possible induction of central nervous system damage. Our attention was focused on the effects of nanoparticles and microparticles and their role in development of multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system in regions of Czech Republic with known extremely polluted environment and historically high prevalence of these diseases. We also followed the role of nutrition, which not only plays a role in the development of these diseases but can also be used medically. Vitamin D and beta glucan supplementation is discussed, particularly their use in possible regulation of immunopathological processes.

Keywords: Noncommunicable diseases; CNS; Nutrition; Vitamin D; Beta glucan


ADP: Amyloid Precursor; CNS: Central Nervous System; EBV: Epstein-Barr Virus; WAT: White Adipose Tissue


Relations between human activities and the surrounding environment have lately become highly important topics. Environmental pollution and its effects on human health is increasingly revealed with the help of new technologies, allowing for better definition of harmful materials causing pathophysiological processes and resulting in numerous diseases [1,2]. Human activities often have negative effects on water, air, and soil conditions. Negative effects of urbanization and industrialization, so called anthropogenic pollution, seem to be the biggest risk for deterioration of human health. This damage can start during pregnancy, continuing through childhood and into adulthood [3,4]. The final level of damage is a summary of voluntary and involuntary exposition to damaging agents and reflects the risk of noncommunicative diseases [5,6]. Total prevalence of these diseases is based on genetic, epigenetic, nutritious, climatic, geographic, and socioeconomic factors [6]. Among numerous organs susceptible to this impact is the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, function of the skin, and urogenital and gastrointestinal systems. Significant attention has focused on possible damage impacting the Central Nervous System (CNS) [1,3,6-8]. Developmental immunotoxicity together with perinatal programming of the individual suggests the possibility of CNS damage occurring at an older age [5,7]. Immunopathologic events accompanying and affecting these diseases are being evaluated [4,9]. Intensity and length of exposition influences the development of tumors, diseases of cardiovascular system, respiratory problems, allergy, urogenital tract problems, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cataracts, and diseases of CNS-most of all Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and multiple sclerosis. Environmental pollution is the prevalent pro-inflammatory stimulus for CNS with subsequent induction of development of neurodevelopmental disorders [1,3-5]. Particles of PM0.1 size can be found in the CNS within 4-24 hr after inhalation. When inhaled nasally, they enter the CNS 7 days after exposition [2]. A correlation between low-quality environment and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the Czech Republic has been reported [10]. With the better understanding of new contaminants, the extent of the spectrum of diseases affected by high exposure to environmental contaminants may become more apparent [1,3,5]. Nanoparticles and microparticles seem to be the most important components penetrating the CNS not only through the blood stream in the respiratory tract, but also directly through nasal inhalation via nervus trigeminus [1,2].

The Usti region is one of the most contaminated regions in Europe. With an area of 339km2 and 821,000 people, it is a center of industry and energy in the Czech Republic. Usti’s chemical industry specializes in the manufacturing of diesel fuel, heating oil, and fertilizers, and the glass industry represents more than 170 large companies. Surface brown coal mining represents more than 60% of the entire energy needs of the country. In this region, we can find five coal power stations producing more than 25,000 GWh annually.

The main component of pollution released by mining and processing of coal consists of particles smaller than PM1 [11]. Extreme environmental pollution occurs during winter, resulting in a high prevalence of diseases, particularly among children. In addition, a high frequency of noninfective diseases is common, leading to a significantly lower lifespan of the local population (approximately 3 years shorter lifespan). The major problem represents particles released during mining, transportation and processing of low-quality brown coal, with the common size ranging from 20 to 1000 nm [11].

In addition, the complex of environmental pollution harmful to humans and other species includes various chemical mixtures and biological materials contaminating the air. Pollution can be artificial (i.e., industrial) or natural (i.e., volcanic eruptions) [5,11]. According to a regulatory agency, the effects of contaminated environment is responsible for the early death of more than 3 million people.

These deaths are connected to a higher frequency of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, allergies, and other noncommunicable diseases. Recent studies have suggested that these contaminants might have both direct and indirect effects on induction of diseases of the CNS including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and multiple sclerosis. The induction of neurodegenerative processes occurs in early age, particularly in individuals persistently exposed to the high levels of contaminants mentioned above [1,4,7]. The mechanism leading to the damage of CNS is still not fully understood, but the role of undefined nanoparticles and microparticles, oxidative stress, activation of immune processes involving inflammasomes, and some genetic and epigenetic influences are clear [12,13]. The high frequency of multiple sclerosis in the Usti region (Figure 1) first reported over 30 years ago [10] and the increasing prevalence since were the inspiration for this short review.

Citation: Richter J, Vetvicka V, Richterova S and Král V. Extremely Polluted Environment Reflected in Degenerative CNS Diseases. Ann Nutr Disord & Ther. 2020; 7(2): 1066.