Aluminum Found in Brains of MS, AD, Autism Patients

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Diseases like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism are sharply on the rise, leaving scientists scrambling to uncover a cure. Could these brain-ravishing conditions be caused by the slow build-up of neurotoxic aluminum in our brains?

According to the National Institutes of Health, neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are caused by the susceptibility of genes in combination with environmental factors.[1] While the alarm about exposure to aluminum was sounded roughly a decade ago, it was largely stifled by cheap consumer goods and the large-scale medical and industrial cheerleading campaigns. The prevalence of aluminum in our world today virtually ensures habitual exposures for every American. But what is the real impact of our collective dependence on aluminum?

Aluminum, sometimes referred to as aluminium, is the 13th element on the periodic table. Pure aluminum does not occur in nature but is a composite of aluminium and sulphuric acids.[2] It is this compound, aluminium sulphate, that is prevalent in our everyday lives and produces the bulk of our exposures. Aluminium sulphates are used to purify drinking water, to acidify soils, to dye textiles—among other industrial-scale uses. We are exposed through the use of all types of medicaments, both OTC and prescribed, such as aluminum’s role as a vaccine adjuvant, and as an additive in aspirin, antacids, and other pharmaceutical drugs. It is added to the baking soda that we cook with, and the pots and pans we cook in. It’s in the cosmetics, hair care, and antiperspirants that we apply to our skin, and many of the aerosols that we spray in our homes. All these uses give aluminum a near-direct route into our bloodstream. 

It’s beyond doubt—aluminum is an extremely useful material. The problem is that aluminum is recognized as a neurotoxin, and a growing body of research demonstrates that our exposures can be cumulative. One of the most prominent researchers in this field, Dr. Christopher Exley, is a biologist and researcher at UK’s Keele University with a PhD in the ecotoxicology of aluminium. According to Exley, “a significant proportion of individuals older than 70 years of age have a potentially pathological accumulation of aluminium somewhere in their brain.”[3]

Dr. Exley’s latest research was published in the August 2018 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, and shows a clear link between the presence of aluminum in brain tissues and the brain-ravaging disease, multiple sclerosis (MS).

The research abstract begins by asserting that there are currently no data available to researchers on the presence of aluminium in human brain tissue of patients affected by MS. This pioneering study took the first aluminum measurements of brain tissue from fourteen donors with a diagnosis of MS. In what was clearly a surprise to researchers, each of the fourteen donors had at least one tissue with a “pathologically significant” concentration of aluminium. Overall, 33% of tissue samples had an aluminium content considered “pathologically concerning.” 80% of these pathologically concerning tissues had an aluminium content considered “pathologically significant.” Every brain sampled had at least one tissue with a pathologically significant content of aluminium.

Aluminum content of the brains was determined by a process using atomic absorption spectrometry; location of aluminum was determined using aluminium-specific fluorescence microscopy. The findings alerted researchers to “universally high” aluminum content, with “many tissues bearing concentrations in excess of 10 ppm and some exceeding 50 ppm.” Aluminum was found inside (intracellular) and outside (extracellular) brain cells, and in both grey and white matter. There were no statistical differences in findings due to gender or age of donor, however researchers were surprised to find aluminum in the younger brains, with eleven of the fourteen being under the age of 60 at the time of tissue donation.

These measurements add to a growing database of findings on aluminium in human brain tissue that reinforces the researcher’s conclusion: that there is an “above normal” content of aluminium in human brain tissue of individuals with MS, and that it is a more serious problem than has previously been recognized by science. Researchers are calling for more studies on aluminum content of brains, wherein true controls are utilized, such as measuring for aluminum in brain tissues before a diagnosis of MS is made.

MS, or multiple sclerosis, is a poorly understood autoimmune condition that the National MS Society states “is triggered by an as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond.”[4] It’s the battle of nature versus nurture, with no clear winner on which to pin the blame. An autoimmune condition is one in which the body’s self-protection response becomes hyperactive, moving aggressively to thwart the stimulus it perceives as harmful. The immune system turns its disease-fighting actions on the central nervous system, causing damage to healthy cells and tissues. In the case of MS, the damage is considered by the medical establishment to be permanent, despite numerous documented cases of holistic, diet-based protocols achieving healing miracles. Could a toxic accumulation of heavy metals such as aluminum, be at the root cause of MS for some individuals?

While the science is far from definitive, there are corroborating studies, such as this 2006 study by Exley’s team that found levels of aluminium in urine excretions of MS patients were similar to levels seen in cases of aluminium intoxication. A 2012 study conducted by Università degli Studi di Milano noted a marked improvement in the case of an MS sufferer who had been unsuccessfully treated for some years with current standard therapies. The patient underwent heavy metal removal treatments due to elevated levels of aluminium, lead and mercury in the urine. After twice-monthly EDTA chelation therapy, the patient experienced improved symptoms suggestive of MS remission, as well as a return to normal levels of metals in the urine, strongly suggestive of a correlation between levels of heavy metal toxicity and symptoms of MS.

Is There an Aluminum Link to Neurodegenerative Diseases?

Toxic metals are considered major environmental pollutants. Studies such as those illustrated above have led researchers to explore potential links between aluminum intoxication and other neurodegenerative diseases. In 2014, scientists found a link between aluminum and early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Published by the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, another study spearheaded by Exley’s team found the concentrations of aluminum in brain tissue donated by individuals who died with a diagnosis of familial AD, was the highest level ever measured in human brain tissue. According to Exley, levels “are similar to those recorded in individuals who died of an aluminium-induced encephalopathy while undergoing renal dialysis.”

High aluminum levels have been linked through research to diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, and autism. A 15-year-old autistic boy who was the subject of a Kings College Hospital study in London, yielded a tissue sample with levels of aluminum 22 times higher than those found in healthy individuals. The 2017 study produced “some of the highest values for aluminium in human brain tissue yet recorded,” prompting researchers to posit why “the [mean] aluminium content of the occipital lobe of a 15-year-old boy would be 8.74 micrograms per gram dry weight.”

Many health advocates and concerned parents action groups are questioning the drastic increase in childhood vaccinations, and wondering if the aluminum adjuvant can possibly be worth the potential harm to young, undeveloped brains. While "anti-vaxxers" are being smeared in public campaigns as backward and unscientific fear-mongers, scientists have identified an entirely new post-vaccine syndrome, Autoimmune Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA). Most currently registered cases of ASIA have followed vaccination for Hepatitis B.

Vaccines are far from the only exposure source for children and babies. There is a serious cultural failing taking place for our weakest newborns by exposing preterm babies, fed parenterally (intravenously), to “nutrition” that contains more than three times the FDA’s “safe” aluminum level. In a study entitled, "Aluminum loading in preterm neonates revisited,” researchers demonstrated that more than half the aluminum fed to infants parenterally ends up sequestered in the body. In a study of ten newborn, premature infants fed parenterally, the average (mean) daily intake of aluminum was calculated to be 15.2 µg/kg of body weight. The maximum intake level that the FDA considers acceptable is 5 µg/kg/day, which means that these babies were receiving over 3 times more aluminum each day than the FDA considers acceptable.

GreenMedInfo has more than 150 abstracts on aluminum that show correlations and causal links between aluminum and 56 different diseases. Be aware and do your best to limit exposure sources. Drinking silicon-rich mineral water has proven to be an effective, non-invasive alternative to chelation therapy for removing toxic aluminium from the body.

For additional research on natural solutions to aluminum, visit the GreenMedInfo database on the subject.



Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Sayer Ji
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