Aluminium in the diet, cognitive decline and dementia

V Frisardi, V Solfrizzi, PG Kehoe, G Vendemiale, A Capurso, F Panza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


In recent years, interest in the potential role of metals in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has grown considerably. In particular, aluminium (Al) neurotoxicity was suggested after its discovery in the senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that represent the principal neuropathological hallmarks of AD. Al is omnipresent in everyday life, and can enter the human body from several sources, most notably from drinking water and food consumption. The evidence supporting association from ingestion of Al from drinking water is somewhat stronger than for its ingestion from food. However, other elements present in drinking water, such as fluoride, copper, zinc or iron could also have an effect on cognitive impairment or modify any Al neurotoxicity. Some epidemiological studies, but not all, suggested that silica could be protective against Al damage, because it reduced oral absorption of Al and/or enhanced Al excretion. Some epidemiological investigations suggested an association between chronic exposure to Al and risk of AD, although this relationship falls short of all the criteria generally attributed to causation. Future studies need to more rigorously test the validity of previous findings and, in doing so, attempt to identify dose-response relationships between Al and AD risk, which may provide new routes to disease-modifying treatment of AD or possibly some lifestyle modification, to supplement existing symptomatic approaches.
Translated title of the contributionAluminium in the diet, cognitive decline and dementia
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Behavior, Diet and Nutrition
Pages2829 - 2850
ISBN (Print)9780387922706
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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