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The Role of Air Pollution Exposure in Multiple Sclerosis Development and Progression: The Saudi Arabian Context

Alhazmi, Maha (2023) The Role of Air Pollution Exposure in Multiple Sclerosis Development and Progression: The Saudi Arabian Context. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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The incidence of autoimmune diseases has been steadily rising in industrialized communities over the last few decades, and studies have shown that exposure to urban air pollution can increase the occurrence and severity of autoimmune diseases. The global prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, has increased from approximately 2.3 million to 2.8 million cases from 2013 to 2020. The disease etiology remains unclear, but evidence has shown that in addition to genetic predisposition, smoking, low vitamin D levels, and previous viral infection such as Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) can play a role in disease development and cause a higher relapse rate. The effects of air pollution on MS development and progression have been studied in recent years in a few countries, some of which have good to moderate levels of air pollution. However, the role of air pollution in the pathogenesis of MS, especially in countries that struggle with high levels of air pollution, is still unknown and needs to be elucidated. This essay focuses on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as one of the countries that experience elevated air pollution levels and have witnessed a significant increase in MS prevalence. Its purpose is to present recent literature on the association between air pollution and the incidence and progression of MS as well as the latest data on MS prevalence and levels of air pollution and their main sources in KSA.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Alhazmi, MahaMia79@pitt.eduMia790000-0001-8378-4573
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeterson, Jamesjimmyp@pitt.edujimmypUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberIsitan, Cigdemisitanc@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 19 May 2023
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 28 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 49
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Air pollution; multiple sclerosis; MS; Saudi Arabia
Date Deposited: 19 May 2023 13:52
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 13:52


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