Hypoxia may build multigenerational resilience against dementia

Dust clouds are killing people out West—and the dangers could spread

A pair of empty docks sit atop dried muck at an abandoned marina, glaring reminders that the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere is disappearing. Three main tributaries empty into Utah’s Great Salt Lake, but decades of their flows being diverted for agriculture, cities, and industry—along with prolonged drought—have starved the 1,700-square-mile body of its lifeblood. Last summer the inland sea made national headlines when it dropped to the lowest point ever recorded, exposing roughly 750 square miles of sediment to the same winds that carve hoodoos and sculpt arches to the south and east.

“There’s not a lot of work on the impacts of dust on water quality. We see it on the snowpack, but the next step is seeing where it goes, where it ends up in the watershed. It gets pretty messy.”

Greg Carling, hydrogeologist

Despite much-needed rain on this early-October afternoon, only the slimmest sheen of water glistens where the lake should be—and it will disappear within days. The patches of bare earth it will leave behind can easily turn into dust that blows straight into Utah’s largest urban area, Salt Lake City, about 30 miles to the east. Making matters worse, that sediment is full of arsenic…READ ON

Hypoxia may build multigenerational resilience against dementia

Vascular dementia is the second leading cause of dementia following Alzheimer’s. It occurs due to the interruption of blood and oxygen supply to the brain, which damages the blood vessels.

An intriguing new study finds that, in mice, repetitive exposure to hypoxia may protect against dementia.

Low oxygen levels elsewhere in the body can also disrupt other critical organs and their functions. For instance, reduced blood supply to the heart can lead to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

Because low oxygen levels in the body can cause life threatening conditions, it seems paradoxical to deprive a tissue or organ of oxygen to confer benefits. However, a group of researchers is examining some potential benefits of exposure to low oxygen levels, also known as hypoxia…READ ON

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