Alessandra Della Vecchia*, Federico Mucci, Andrea Pozza and Donatella Marazziti Pages 2521 - 2539 ( 19 )
Background: Air ions (AIs) are clusters of ionized particles present in the atmosphere, carrying an electrical charge of negative or positive polarity. Past speculations suggested that exposure to positive air ions may be harmful, while exposure to negative air ions (NAIs) may be associated with beneficial health effects. Increasing attention has been directed towards investigating the potential effect of NAIs on human brain activities since initial observations of their beneficial effects on some cognitive processes and mood.
Aims: Given the paucity and scattered literature, our paper aims to review the available studies on potential positive effects of NAIs exposure on cognitive performances and depression.
Discussion: The review of the literature seems to confirm the effects of NAIs on several brain functions. Indeed, a significant association between NAIs exposure and both well-being and high cognitive performances has been described. Furthermore, exposure to high concentrations of NAIs could be related to the improvement of depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: A growing evidence of data, although not yet conclusive, would suggest that NAIs might improve cognitive processes. These findings require specific and urgent controlled trials adopting systems based on AIs release to possibly prevent and treat cognitive dysfunctions present in a broad range of neuropsychiatric conditions.
Negative air ions, wellbeing, cognition, attention, memory, depression.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa, Department of Medical Sciences, Surgery and Neurosciences, University of Siena, Siena, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa