A TEAM involving Oxford University scientists has, for the first time, discovered tiny magnetic particles from air pollution lodged in human brains.

Researchers believe they could be a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists led by Lancaster University found magnetite nanoparticles in the brain tissue of 37 individuals aged three to 92, who lived in Mexico City and Manchester.

Co-author and lead experimentalist Dr Imad Ahmed, from Oxford University's Department of Earth Sciences, said: "The identification of elements associated with the crystal structure of brain magnetites provides convincing evidence of the high-temperature and pollution origin of these particles.

"Our results indicate that magnetite nanoparticles in the atmosphere can enter the human brain, where they might pose a risk to human health, including conditions such as Alzheimer's disease."