People with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological diseases have a significantly higher aluminum content in their brains than those with no known neurological impairment and no identifiable neurodegenerative disease, a recent study found.
The research further supports a role of aluminum in the development of these brain conditions, and puts researchers closer to answer the question of how much aluminum is too much in the human brain.
Their study, “Aluminium in human brain tissue from donors without neurodegenerative disease: A comparison with Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and autism,” was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
Due to the increasing presence of aluminum in household appliances, cars, airplanes, cellphones, and even in food, medicine, and cosmetics, its presence in the human body is becoming inevitable.
Aluminum is a neurotoxic molecule that is not part of the metals normally found in the human body. But the body can accommodate certain aluminum levels through biochemical reactions that render the molecule inert, with the brain being a target tissue for aluminum accumulation.
This has raised the question of how much aluminum in the brain is too much for it to start causing damage.
To find out, Christopher Exley, PhD, at the Keele University, U.K., and Elizabeth Clarkson, PhD, from the Wichita State University in Kansas, examined the aluminum content in a set of donor brain tissues, identified by a brain bank as potential controls for brains affected with neurological conditions.
The analysis included a total of 191 tissue samples collected from 20 control brains. Donors included five men and 15 women, ages 47 to 105 years old. Tissues were obtained from frontal, occipital, parietal, and temporal lobes and cerebellum from all donors.
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