Aluminium and Alzheimer's disease: review of possible pathogenic mechanisms

Richard A. Armstrong, S.J. Winsper, J.A. Blair

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Chronic exposure to aluminium (Al) remains a controversial possible cause of sporadic forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This article reviews the evidence that once Al enters the brain and individual brain cells, it may be involved in three pathological processes: (1) the production of abnormal forms of tau leading to the formation of cellular neurofibrillary tangles and neuropil threads; (2) the processing of the amyloid precursor protein, resulting in the formation of beta-amyloid deposits and senile plaques, and (3) that via the mutual histocompatibility system, Al could be involved in the initiation of the immune response observed in AD patients. Despite recent evidence that Al could be involved in these processes, a conclusive case that exposure to Al initiates the primary pathological process in sporadic AD remains to be established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • aluminium
  • tau
  • amyloid precursor protein
  • immune reaction


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