Aluminum Is Intricately Associated With the Neuropathology of Familial Alzheimer’s Disease

Summary: Study reveals aluminum is co-located with the tau protein in people with familial Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: IOS Press

A new study demonstrates that aluminum is co-located with phosphorylated tau protein, present as tangles within neurons in the brains of early-onset or familial Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“The presence of these tangles is associated with neuronal cell death, and observations of aluminum in these tangles may highlight a role for aluminum in their formation,” explained lead investigator Matthew John Mold, PhD, Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.

The earlier research highlighted widespread co-localization of aluminum and amyloid-β in brain tissue in familial AD. The researchers used a highly-selective method of immunolabelling in the current study, combined with aluminum-specific fluorescence microscopy. Phosphorylated tau in tangles co-located with aluminum in the brain tissue of the same cohort of Colombian donors with familial AD were identified.

“It is of interest and perhaps significance with respect to aluminum’s role in AD that its unequivocal association with tau is not as easily recognizable as with amyloid-β. There are many more aggregates of aluminum with amyloid-β than with tau in these tissues and the latter are predominantly intracellular,” remarked co-author, Professor Christopher Exley.

Per Dr. George Perry, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, “Aluminum accumulation has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease for nearly half a century, but it is the meticulously specific studies of Drs. Mold and Exley that are defining the exact molecular interaction of aluminum and other multivalent metals that may be critical to formation of the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.”

This shows a brain
The earlier research highlighted widespread co-localization of aluminum and amyloid-β in brain tissue in familial AD. Image is in the public domain

“The new data may suggest that the association of aluminum with extracellular senile plaques precedes that with intracellular aggregates of tau. These relationships with both amyloid-β and tau may account for the high levels of aluminum observed in the brain tissue of donors with familial AD versus those without a diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease,” said Dr Mold.

“Tau and amyloid-beta are known to act in synergy to produce neurotoxicity in AD and our data provide new evidence for a role of aluminum in this process”.

About this Alzheimer’s disease research news

Source: IOS Press
Contact: Diana Murray – IOS Press
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: Open access.
Aluminum and Tau in Neurofibrillary Tangles in Familial Alzheimer’s Disease” by Matthew John Mold et al. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports


Aluminum and Tau in Neurofibrillary Tangles in Familial Alzheimer’s Disease


Familial Alzheimer’s disease (fAD) is driven by genetic predispositions affecting the expression and metabolism of the amyloid-β protein precursor. Aluminum is a non-essential yet biologically-reactive metal implicated in the etiology of AD. Recent research has identified aluminum intricately and unequivocally associated with amyloid-β in senile plaques and, more tentatively, co-deposited with neuropil-like threads in the brains of a Colombian cohort of donors with fAD.


Herein, we have assessed the co-localization of aluminum to immunolabelled phosphorylated tau to probe the potential preferential binding of aluminum to senile plaques or neurofibrillary tangles in the same Colombian kindred.


Herein, we have performed phosphorylated tau-specific immunolabelling followed by aluminum-specific fluorescence microscopy of the identical brain tissue sections via a sequential labelling method.


Aluminum was co-localized with immunoreactive phosphorylated tau in the brains of donors with fAD. While aluminum was predominantly co-located to neurofibrillary tangles in the temporal cortex, aluminum was more frequently co-deposited with cortical senile plaques.


These data suggest that the co-deposition of aluminum with amyloid-β precedes that with neurofibrillary tangles. Extracellularly deposited amyloid-β may also be more immediately available to bind aluminum versus intracellular aggregates of tau. Therapeutic approaches to reduce tau have demonstrated the amelioration of its synergistic interactions with amyloid-β, ultimately reducing tau pathology and reducing neuronal loss. These data support the intricate associations of aluminum in the neuropathology of fAD, of which its subsequent reduction may further therapeutic benefits observed in ongoing clinical trials in vivo.

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  1. I had a health teacher 42-years ago my freshman year in college who said aluminum was related to Alzheimer’s and dementia. He said do not use aluminum based anti-perspirants or cookware. I stopped immediately. Sadly, my mother has suffered with Alzheimers for over 12-years and is now in stage 7F. It is a horrid, tragic disease that insidiously robs one of literally everything while taking an extreme emotional and physical toll on family.

  2. In layman’s terms research has reached a tipping point and aluminum is a causal factor of Alzheimer’s. The good news is drinking silica rich mineral water (Fiji, Volvic and Acilis for example) is effective at removing aluminum from your body. Over time aluminum slowly accumulates in the body and brain. The study above and other studies from this group have found that 2 hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, beta amyloid plaque and tau are caused by aluminum. Yes you should avoid aluminum. Aluminum is a neurotoxin which means it kills brain cells. If you would like to learn more, my husband Dennis N Crouse writes about this research. His mother has late onset Alzheimer’s and the progression of her disease has stopped and her cognition has improved from drinking silica water and taking supplements that support brain health. He has a blog on blogger and he has books on amazon. All his information is research based.

  3. I surmised this conclusion years ago on my own. The timeliness of tv dinners and foil and the age of affected people. So obvious. I am sure the aluminum industry did not agree with the initial findings. We were blessed with stainless steel pots and pans because my father worked in a plant that made them. I find it so sad the way industries put profit over people. The earth being trashed, we flying to the moon. People living on the street mansions, empty blogs abandoned. Sickening

  4. I guess it makes sense to be giving children and teens endless vaccines as they have for the last 2-3 decades filled with aluminum adjuvants. Injections of aluminum do not readily leave the body and accumulate over time. Where are the studies that should have been done decades ago to determine the depth of this problem? Once again, if anything interferes with the big pharma profit-at-all-costs machine, it is swept under the carpet and blatantly ignored.

  5. Unfortunately yes. I had always cooked in heavy aluminum pots and my husband used an aluminum based shampoo to cure his dendritic scaly.
    Long ago I changed to heavy stainless steel. Pots.
    A blood exam showed that my husband had extremely high levels of aluminum in his body. He stopped the shampoo but now suffers from Alzheimer.

  6. Perhaps a conclusion in layman’s terms would have been helpful. Should we stop using aluminum foil in the kitchen? Tyvm

  7. Speak in laymen terms.Do I need to wrap my bake potato in something else? Yes or No.

  8. My Dad worked at Reynolds Aluminum Company for 30 years and he died from Alzheimer’s Disease.

  9. If you coooked most things in aluminium pots for dozens of years, does that have any effect?

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