For decades, research has shown the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in the United States is dramatically higher among African American populations than in non-Hispanic white populations. Scientists have suspected a variety of contributing factors, but the underlying reasons have remained unclear.

Now, a new study in The Journals of Gerontologyconducted in collaboration with researchers across the country, points to environmental neurotoxins – specifically, ambient fine particles in the air known as PM2.5 – as possible culprits in the disproportionate number of African American, particularly Black women, affected by dementia.

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