The rising temperatures caused by climate change are contributing to an increase in migraines and neurological problems, it was revealed on Wednesday.
A new study found climate change was linked to an increase in symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and multiple sclerosis, according to the American Academy of Neurology.
American Academy of Neurology included the results of the study in their medical journal Neurology.
The research also found warmer weather increased the transmission of insect-borne infections, underscoring the devastating effects of increasing worldwide temperatures.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration claims temperatures have increased by 0.32 degrees each decade since 1980.
Researchers combed through hundreds of studies on pollutants, climate and temperature changes and neurologic disease in adults dating back to 1990.
Scientists found hotter warmer summers and more severe weather events increased stress on the human heart as it worked harder to pump blood and stay cool, exacerbating both major and minor medical conditions.
The host of affected medical conditions were also aggravated by dehydration, which is increasingly common in hot climates. A lack of water can cause human brain tissue to shrink and put pressure on nerves.
Airborne nitrates and fine pollutant particles caused by climate change are also absorbed into the bloodstream, driving up the risk of brain disorders and neurological diseases, the non-peer-reviewed study found.
“Although the international community seeks to reduce global temperature rise to under 2.7 ºF before 2100, irreversible environmental changes have already occurred, and as the planet warms these changes will continue to occur,” said review author Andrew Dhawan, MD, DPhil, of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
“As we witness the effects of a warming planet on human health, it is imperative that neurologists anticipate how neurologic disease may change.”
The study found that climate change expanded areas where weather conditions expose more people to West Nile virus, meningococcal meningitis and tick-borne encephalitis.
In addition, stronger and more frequent natural disasters caused by global warming result in medical care disruptions. Researchers said there was an “unmet need in planning” for neurologic care “in the face of ecological instability.”
“Climate change poses many challenges for humanity, some of which are not well-studied,” said Dhawan, the study’s lead author.
“For example, our review did not find any articles related to effects on neurologic health from food and water insecurity, yet these are clearly linked to neurologic health and climate change.”
Dhawan said more research was needed on how air pollution affects the nervous system and how to mitigate and treat the spread of climate-related sicknesses.