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Lead linked to aging in older brains
San Jose Mercury News ^ | 1/27/08 | Malcom Ritter

Posted on 01/27/2008 12:46:35 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom

Could it be that the "natural" mental decline that afflicts many older people is related to how much lead they absorbed decades before? That's the provocative idea emerging from some recent studies, part of a broader area of new research that suggests some pollutants can cause harm that shows up only years after someone is exposed.

The new work suggests long-ago lead exposure can make an aging person's brain work as if it's five years older than it really is. If that's verified by more research, it means that sharp cuts in environmental lead levels more than 20 years ago didn't stop its widespread effects.

... in recent years, scientists are coming to appreciate that exposure to other pollutants in early life also may promote disease much later on.

The big reason for the drop: the phasing out of lead in gasoline from 1976 to 1991. Because of that and accompanying measures, the average lead level in the blood of American adults fell 30 percent by 1980 and about 80 percent by 1990.

But work by Schwartz and Dr. Howard Hu of the University of Michigan suggests that the long-term effects of the high-lead era are still being felt. In 2006, Schwartz and his colleagues published a study of about 1,000 Baltimore residents. They were ages 50 to 70, old enough to have absorbed plenty of lead before it disappeared from gasoline. They probably got their peak doses in the 1960s and 1970s, Schwartz said, mostly by inhaling air pollution from vehicle exhaust and from other sources in the environment.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: aging; alzheimer; brain; health; lead
Interesting that the shinbone is used a marker for the amount of lead in the body.

I wonder how those of us who grew up in more remote 'burbs fare compared to those who grew up along freeways or in densely populated areas.

I smell a huge class action lawsuit against the evil oil companies sometime in the future.

1 posted on 01/27/2008 12:46:36 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I was born in ‘64, I’m doomed.


2 posted on 01/27/2008 12:50:22 PM PST by sinanju
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I soldered all kinds of things together since I was about 8... Lots of smoke inhaled... Oh well...


3 posted on 01/27/2008 12:52:23 PM PST by DB
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I think that older brains have aged more than younger brains.


4 posted on 01/27/2008 12:53:07 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I just bid on a nice Lyman 429244 mould on eBay.


5 posted on 01/27/2008 12:55:17 PM PST by VR-21
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To: VR-21

I was just thinking the same thing! May have to sell my reloading equipment.


6 posted on 01/27/2008 12:57:50 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (If you don't want people to get your goat, don't tell them where it's tied.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

All I know for sure, is that I couldn’t get the lead out of my arse and was a pretty slow runner.


7 posted on 01/27/2008 12:57:51 PM PST by Bushbacker1 (I was officially Fredbacker1 but now officially Romney1 and still can't change my name)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
I thought my problem was that I'm getting "Too Old to Cut the Mustard Anymore"

Now it appears that I may be "Too Old to Get the Lead Out".

By the way, if you possess the Buck Owens rendition of that song, call HAZMAT and they'll know what to do.

8 posted on 01/27/2008 12:58:41 PM PST by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: capt. norm

I once heard an old gapper say, “I may be too old to cut the mustard, but I can still lick the jar.”

[This post is going to get deleted]


9 posted on 01/27/2008 1:01:31 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (It takes a father to raise a child.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
I once heard an old gapper say, “I may be too old to cut the mustard, but I can still lick the jar.”

Depends on what he's cutting it with...a knife, or (recommended) some Jack Daniels.

It makes a great flavored mustard, but it's way too easy to overdo it. Just enough to get that neat flavor in the mustard, but not enough to make it too obvious.

If you get too much "Jack" in there, just thin it out with more mustard until you have the taste "tuned" the way you like it.

10 posted on 01/27/2008 1:11:30 PM PST by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

That is an interesting theory. I hope you receive enough Federal grant money to continue your research. :)


11 posted on 01/27/2008 1:31:02 PM PST by WildcatClan (The epitome of irony is that few entities exist, less common, than common-sense.)
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