The aluminum is a neurotoxin, which is like a poison to your brain and nervous system. Some experts have speculated that this metal plays a big role in Alzheimer’s disease, and evidence is steadily mounting that it truly does. Fortunately, there’s also a suggestion that a number of natural plant extracts and nutrients can prevent and reduce aluminum toxicity in the brain and prevent the progression of memory loss and some other cognitive insufficiencies.
The evidence that’s connecting aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Walter Lukiw, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Neurologyand Ophthalmology at Louisiana State Universityled a team of neuroscientists, who have been studying the potential contribution of aluminum to the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease for almost 30 years. Dr. Lukiw and his fellow scientists recently summarized the research connecting aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Aluminum’s contribution to Alzheimer’s disease is based upon at least 7 independently derived observations,” statedthe researchers. Briefly, those 7 pieces of evidence are:
- Aluminum promotes beta-amyloid plaques in the brain at levels that correspond to those currently found in people.
- It promotes inflammation in the brain by increasing the pro-inﬂammatory molecule recognized as nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB), a noticeable feature in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Out of the thousands of brain gene messenger RNA molecules. That are molecules that convey genetic information from DNA to cause gene expression and aluminum increases the same ones that are augmented in Alzheimer’s disease.
- If aluminum is added to the diets of animals with Alzheimer’s disease,it causes additional brain changes relatedto Alzheimer’s disease such programmed cell death, deficits in gene expressionand oxidative stress.
- Aluminum,moreover, causes the same types of cellular energy deficits that are linkedto Alzheimer’s disease, like impaired signaling involving ATP and energy consumption.
- A very big number of studies connect the amount of aluminum in drinking water to the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. Worldwide, as a clarification or “finishing” agent,aluminum is added to drinkingwater.
- However, all the Alzheimer’s disease drug treatments tried to date, chelation using an aluminum chelator has been shown to be one of the most efficient therapeutic strategies.
Digging deeper: what animal studies have found
There is no morally acceptable way to directly test if aluminum causes Alzheimer’s disease in people. Since it’s not ethical to dose people with aluminum, scientists must rely on other scientific methods of investigation to define aluminum’s role in this disease. One way to do this is to test it on animals.
It’s now well-established that aluminum directly causes Alzheimer’s-like behavioral problems, memory impairment, and learning deficits in animals, even in very small doses. For example, rats that consume aluminum in quantitiesequal to those ingested by Americans from their water and food,in old agedevelop severe Alzheimer’s-type cognitive deterioration.
The case of the Alzheimer’s patient and the aluminum in his brain
Dr. Christopher Exley, PhD, of Keele University in the United Kingdomis another famousscientist who is studying aluminum’s negative health effects. Dr. Exley,with his team has found that aluminum appears to accumulate in the brain with age. The most recent research shows that lots of people above the age of 70 have a potentially pathological quantity of aluminum accumulated in their brains.
Dr. Exley, together with his colleagues were the first to demonstrate the significantly raisedlevels of aluminum in the brain in an individual diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease following occupational exposure to aluminum. Occupational contact to aluminum is associated directly with impaired cognitive function.The more aluminum to which a person is exposed, the poorer he perform on tests for memory and other cognitive functions.
The case that Dr. Exley presented involved a previously healthy man diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age of 58, after more than 8 years of consistent exposure to dustof aluminum sulfate. Initially, the man complained oftiredness, headaches, and mouth ulcers. Thenhe started to show memory problems and began to suffer from depression before he was lastly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
After he died in 2011, in his brain’s cerebral cortex was found neurofibrillary tanglesandabundant beta-amyloid plaques, consistent with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. His family and the local coroner requested that the samples of the man’s brain tissue to be sent to Dr. Exley for analysis of aluminum. According to Dr. Exley, it’s extremely rare to have as much brain tissue as was the analysis need, and this opportunity enabled the most thorough analysis of a brain region’s aluminum content that ever was undertaken.
The data collected confirmed the accumulation of aluminum in the man’s brain tissue. In samples from the frontal lobe, the aluminum levels were excessive and high enough to cause the disease. Even though Dr. Exley’s data cannot prove that aluminum caused the man’s aggressive Alzheimer’s disease, he says that it’s highly likely given the known neurotoxicity of aluminum.