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Don't Forget to Be Sad: Study Shows Air Pollution Causes Depression, Memory Loss

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Photo by jimmay bones via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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Are you feeling tired, run-down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Now you can blame the air pollution. A study recently published by Ohio State University claims that "long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to physical changes in the brain, as well as learning and memory problems and even depression."

While past studies have shown the link between lung and heart health and air pollution, this study focused on the neuroscience. The researchers used mice and exposed them to polluted air, which contained the same fine particulate matter produced by cars, factories, and dust. "The concentration of particulate matter that the mice were exposed to was equivalent to what people may be exposed to in some polluted urban areas."

The result: The pollution caused abnormal brain cells, swelling in other parts of the body that typically lead to depression, and stunted or fewer signals emitting from the part of the brain that affects memory and mood.

In Los Angeles--the 6th most toxic city in the nation, and 2010's "smoggiest city" designee--our air quality remains an ongoing issue.

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Maybe next time you're feeling down in the dumps, instead of going outside for some "fresh air," just stay in. Siiiiiiiigh.