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BRain dEvelopment and Air polluTion ultrafine particles in scHool childrEn

Objective

Traffic-related air pollution is an important environmental problem that may affect neurodevelopment. Ultrafine particles (UFP) translocate to the brains of experimental animals resulting in local proinflammatory overexpression. As the basic elements for thinking are acquired by developing brains during infancy and childhood, susceptibility may be elevated in early life.

We postulate that traffic-related air pollution (particularly UFPs and metals/hydrocarbons content) impairs neurodevelopment in part via effects on frontal lobe maturation, likely increasing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). BREATHE objectives are to develop valid methods to measure children's personal UFP exposure and to develop valid neuroimaging methods to assess correlations between neurobehavior, neurostructural alterations and particle deposition in order to reveal how traffic pollution affects children¿s exposure to key contaminants and brain development, and identify susceptible subgroups.

We have conducted general population birth cohort studies providing preliminary evidence of residential air pollution effects on prenatal growth and mental development.

We aim to demonstrate short and long-term effects on neurodevelopment using innovative epidemiological methods interfaced with environmental chemistry and neuroimaging following 4000 children from 40 schools with contrasting high/low traffic exposure in six linked components involving: repeated psychometric tests, UFP exposure assessment using personal, school and home measurements, gene-environment interactions on inflammation, detoxification pathways and ADHD genome-wide-associated genes, neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy) in ADHD/non-ADHD children, integrative causal modeling using mathematics, and replication in 2900 children with neurodevelopment followed from pregnancy.

We believe the expected results will have worldwide global planning and policy implications.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/fertility
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/environmental sciences/pollution
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particles
  • /natural sciences/mathematics

Call for proposal

ERC-2010-AdG_20100317
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

FUNDACION PRIVADA INSTITUTO DE SALUD GLOBAL BARCELONA
Address
C Rossello 132 Planta 05
08036 Barcelona
Spain
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
Jordi Sunyer Deu (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Joana Porcel (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (4)

FUNDACIO CENTRE DE RECERCA EN EPIDEMIOLOGIA AMBIENTAL - CREAL

Participation ended

Spain
EU contribution
€ 2 072 030
Address
Calle Doctor Aiguader 88
08003 Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Joana Porcel (Ms.)
FUNDACION PRIVADA INSTITUTO DE SALUD GLOBAL BARCELONA
Spain
Address
C Rossello 132 Planta 05
08036 Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
Jordi Sunyer Deu (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Joana Porcel (Ms.)
AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 187 200
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Eusebio Jimenez Arroyo (Mr.)
NEUROVOXEL SLP
Spain
EU contribution
€ 240 000
Address
C/montseny 19 - P2
08550 Barelona
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jesús Pujol (Dr.)