Microplastics Study Reveals Disturbing Behavioral Changes
Found a study published in an international journal of Molecular sciences have found that microplastics circulate in the body and cause disturbing behavioral changes.
The Presence of Microplastics
Fine plastic particles less than 5 millimeters long are among the most common and widespread pollutants on the planet, ending up in air, water and food.
Studies have shown that microplastics enter the body as widely as they enter the environment.
Researchers at the University of Rhode Island exposed young and adult mice to varying levels of microplastics in their drinking water for three weeks.
The researchers noticed that the animals began to move and behave “weirdly” and the behavior was similar to dementia in humans.
Older animals suffer the most.
“It was amazing for us. It wasn’t high doses of microplastics, but in just a short period of time we saw these changes,” Jamie Ross, co-senior investigator on the study, said in a statement.
Accumulation in Organs
When dissecting the animals, the team found that the particles began to accumulate in all organs, including the brain and body waste.
Since microplastic enters the body through the mouth, it was expected to be found in the digestive tract, liver and kidneys, but its spread to other tissues was shocking.
“The detection of microplastics in tissues such as the heart and lungs indicates that microplastics bypass the gastrointestinal tract and likely enter the circulatory (or cardiovascular) system,” Ross explained.
He continued: “The blood-brain barrier is supposed to be very difficult to penetrate. It’s a defense mechanism against viruses and bacteria, and yet these molecules managed to get into it. In fact, they were deep in the brain tissue.”
Impact on Brain Tissue
The researchers noted that the penetration of microplastics into the brain tissue can lead to a decrease in the level of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), which supports cellular processes in the brain.
“Early stages of several neurodegenerative diseases, including mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, have been associated with decreased levels of GFPA as well as depression. We were very surprised to see that microplastics can cause altered GFAP signaling,” Ross added.
Long-term Impact and Conclusion
Research into the long-term impact of microplastics is ongoing. Some studies have shown that it enters the human heart and can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus.
Source: New York Post.