One of the benefits of living in Central Pennsylvania is the air quality.  Locally, since the railroad no longer uses coal fired steam engines, the air quality has been much improved.  Those who live in other areas of the country, or in countries that use large amounts of coal and other fossil fuels, are not so lucky.  The concern over climate changes and their connection to air pollution and fossil fuel consumption is noted daily in the news.
    Obviously, any air pollution has the potential and some documented impacts on lung disease.  What is interesting to consider is some recent data that suggests the lungs are not the only organs affected by air pollution.  Respiratory illnesses have been the prime concerns for most research surrounding air quality and pollution.  Recent studies looking at cognitive function and air pollution have highlighted some interesting observations.  
    Controlling air quality has great benefits, not only for pulmonary function and overall mortality, but can impact brain function and slow memory function decline and, in the long run, may reduce dementia cases.  Reducing air pollution may slow brain aging and thereby reduce the risk of dementia.
     I often talk with friends and family, and we all agree that the diagnosis of dementia seems much more common than it did in the past.  Perhaps increasing dementia was the canary in the mine for the consequences of climate change and fossil fuel pollution. Be happy you live in a community with good air quality.