Air pollution is a global problem and seasonal haze from forest clearing and peat land burning in Indonesia is an annual phenomenon in Southeast Asia. As neurological disorders comprise 6.3% of the burden of disease globally, we reviewed evidence of the association between common neurological conditions and air pollution exposure, and summarised existing data on the impact of the haze phenomenon in Southeast Asia.
A PubMed search for relevant studies on air pollution, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), dementia, epilepsy, haze, headache, migraine, stroke, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and neuromuscular conditions was performed. There were 52 articles which were relevant and were reviewed.
There were associations between short-term air pollution exposure with AD, epilepsy, ischaemic stroke and migraine. Long-term air pollution exposure was associated with AD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia and ischaemic stroke. Evidence on the link between air pollution and PD was inconsistent. Currently, there is no specific data on the effects haze has on neurological conditions in Southeast Asia.
Air pollution is associated with increased risk of certain common neurological disorders. More specific studies are needed to investigate the impact of seasonal haze on neurological conditions in Southeast Asia.