JAN 21, 2020 3:37 PM PST

Another Study Links Aluminum Exposure to Alzheimer's Disease

WRITTEN BY: Tiffany Dazet

A new study, published earlier this week in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, supports a 40-year theory suggesting an association between human exposure to aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study, previous research measured a high content of aluminum in brain tissues from donors with familial Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To confirm and elaborate upon prior research, this team measured aluminum in the brain tissues of a cohort of Colombian donors with familial AD who shared a specific mutation.

The mutation shared by the Colombian cohorts is PS1-E280A, which, according to the study, results in elevated cortical levels of amyloid-beta, early-onset disease, and aggressive disease etiology. The aluminum levels in these brain tissues were compared to control brain tissues from donors with no neuropathological disease.

Using aluminum-specific fluorescence microscopy imaging, the researchers discovered that 42% of the tissues from the Colombian cohort had an aluminum concentration pathologically significant above the standard accepted level. Every tissue sampled featured aluminum deposits. The study reports that approximately two-thirds of aluminum deposits were identified in grey matter. The deposits were located in addition to amyloid-beta in senile plaques and within brain vasculature. Additionally, aluminum was found apart from amyloid-beta in intracellular compartments, including glia and neuronal axons. There were no significant differences in aluminum content between lobes and no significant relationship between the age of donor and aluminum content. There was, however, a significant difference between genders, with females having higher aluminum content than males.

The researchers suggest that aluminum and amyloid-beta are linked in the neuropathology of familial AD. In a news release from IOS Press regarding the study, lead investigator Christopher Exley, Ph.D. stated, “This is the second study confirming significantly high brain accumulation in familial Alzheimer’s disease, but it is the first to demonstrate an unequivocal association between the location of aluminum and amyloid-beta in the disease. It shows that aluminum and amyloid-beta are intimately woven in the neuropathology.”

The results of this study also suggest that genetic predispositions known to increase amyloid-beta, such as the mutation featured in this study, may also predispose individuals to accumulate and retain aluminum in brain tissue. Dr. Exley also said, “One could envisage increased amyloid-beta in brain tissue as a response to high levels of aluminum content, or that aluminum fosters the accumulation of amyloid-beta. Either way, the new research confirms my resolve that within the normal lifespan of humans, there would not be any AD if there were no aluminum in the brain tissue. No aluminum, no AD.”

Sources: IOS Press (1) (2)

About the Author
  • Tiffany grew up in Southern California, where she attended San Diego State University. She graduated with a degree in Biology with a marine emphasis, thanks to her love of the ocean and wildlife. With 13 years of science writing under her belt, she now works as a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.
You May Also Like
APR 22, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
APR 22, 2020
Microneedle Skin Patch Collects Bodily Fluids for On-patch Diagnostic Testing
The collection of blood for diagnostic tests is common practice in clinical settings. However, technicians often need to ...
APR 27, 2020
Cardiology
APR 27, 2020
Almost Half of College Female Athletes Have High Blood Pressure
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) an estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, or high b ...
APR 30, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
APR 30, 2020
Researchers Use AI to Accelerate COVID-19 Drug Development
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed an artificial intelligence platform to accele ...
MAY 10, 2020
Microbiology
MAY 10, 2020
We Still Don't Know Why Rat Hepatitis is Turning Up in People
Hepatitis is a term for liver inflammation. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are caused by viruses.
MAY 18, 2020
Microbiology
MAY 18, 2020
An Antibody Against SARS May Neutralize SARS-CoV-2
SARS-CoV caused an outbreak of SARS in 2003. Samples collected from those patients back then may help us against SARS-Co ...
MAY 22, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
MAY 22, 2020
ALK - The Skinny Gene?
Some people have to count calories and exercise regularly to be skinny while others can consume whatever they want and n ...
Loading Comments...