Friday, April 8, 2011

Is Your Commute Making YOU Stupid?

We know that sitting in traffic on the freeway every morning and night increases anxiety and fatigue -- plus, it's making us fat. Now, a study in mice suggests your hellish commute might also be making you dumber.

Breathing in "freeway particulate matter" -- fossile fuels, weathering car parts and pavement -- may damage neurons involved in learning and memory, according to new research from the University of Southern California. The researchers found that mice with still-developing brains were particularly vulnerable to foul freeway air.

Dr. Todd Morgan, a USC researcher, points out that we don't yet know if these findings apply to people, "but there is suggestive evidence that similar effects may be happening in humans."

How long is your commute? Let's find the reader with the longest trek to and from work -- is it you?

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