Climate Change is Linked to Worsening Brain Diseases – New Study

A lack of green spaces can amplify the harms to people with neurological conditions during a heatwave. Illustration by

Jo Adetunji at The Conversation: Climate change is making the symptoms of certain brain conditions worse, our new review has found. Conditions that can worsen as temperature and humidity rise include stroke, migraines, meningitis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.

Our brains are responsible for managing the environmental challenges we face, especially higher temperatures and humidity, for example by triggering sweating and telling us to move out of the sun and into the shade.

Each of the billions of neurons in our brain is like a learning, adapting computer, with many electrically active components. Many of these components work at a different rate depending on the ambient temperature, and are designed to work together within a narrow range of temperatures. Our bodies, and all their components, work well within these limits to which we have adapted over millennia.

Humans evolved in Africa and are generally comfortable between 20˚C to 26˚C and 20% to 80% humidity. Many of the components of the brain are, in fact, working close to the top of their temperature ranges, meaning that small increases in temperature or humidity may mean they stop working so well together.

When those environmental conditions move rapidly into unaccustomed ranges, as is happening with extreme temperatures and humidity related to climate change, our brain struggles to regulate our temperature and begins to malfunction.

More here.