AIR pollution and a shortage of sunshine may increase the risk of dementia, Scottish research has revealed.
Experts at Edinburgh University have drawn up a shortlist of environmental hazards that might make people more prone to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Exposure to traffic and factory fumes and a lack of vitamin D, which is created when skin is exposed to sunlight, are among the commonplace problems that may play a part in developing the condition.
There is also some evidence pesticides and minerals found in drinking water could have a role, although the findings are mixed.
The scientists say there is not yet sufficient information to draw any solid conclusions and are calling for further investigation.
Dr Tom Russ, of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at Edinburgh University, said mystery surrounded the cause of about a third of dementia cases.