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Articles and Abstracts on Aluminum Immunotoxicity and Neurotoxicity

  • Aluminium in brain tissue in autism. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 2017 PDF: Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder of unknown aetiology. It is suggested to involve both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors including in the latter environmental toxins. Human exposure to the environmental toxin aluminium has been linked, if tentatively, to autism spectrum disorder. Herein we have used transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry to measure, for the first time, the aluminium content of brain tissue from donors with a diagnosis of autism. We have also used an aluminium-selective fluor to identify aluminium in brain tissue using fluorescence microscopy. The aluminium content of brain tissue in autism was consistently high. The mean (standard deviation) aluminium content across all 5 individuals for each lobe were 3.82(5.42), 2.30(2.00), 2.79(4.05) and 3.82(5.17) μg/g dry wt. for the occipital, frontal, temporal and parietal lobes respectively. These are some of the highest values for aluminium in human brain tissue yet recorded and one has to question why, for example, the aluminium content of the occipital lobe of a 15 year old boy would be 8.74 (11.59) μg/g dry wt.? Aluminium-selective fluorescence microscopy was used to identify aluminium in brain tissue in 10 donors. While aluminium was imaged associated with neurones it appeared to be present intracellularly in microglia-like cells and other inflammatory non-neuronal cells in the meninges, vasculature, grey and white matter. The pre-eminence of intracellular aluminium associated with non-neuronal cells was a standout observation in autism brain tissue and may offer clues as to both the origin of the brain aluminium as well as a putative role in autism spectrum disorder.

  • Aluminum is neurotoxic and, when administered as a vaccine adjuvant, pro-inflammatory by inducing release of human DNA​: "Although DNA DAMPs are closely associated with the development of autoimmune disease, DNA DAMPs also contribute to the activation of acquired immune responses following vaccination with alum adjuvant.Previous studies have shown that genomic DNA from dying cells induces the maturation of antigen-presenting cells as well as antigen-specific antibody and cytotoxic T cell responses. This suggests that self-DNA DAMPs can activate innate immune responses that induce acquired immunoresponses. Recently, Marichal et al. demonstrated that the adjuvanticity of alum was dependent on self-DNA released from cells at the alum inoculation site." Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2012; 2: 168 doi:  10.3389/fcimb.2012.00168

  • Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant (Curr Med Chem 2011[1]): “Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. … Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. In our opinion, the possibility that vaccine benefits may have been overrated and the risk of potential adverse effects underestimated, has not been rigorously evaluated in the medical and scientific community.”

  • Aluminum and central nervous system (CNS) toxicity in humans and animals; vaccine adjuvants and autoimmunity (Immunol Res 2013 Jul[2]): "The literature demonstrates clearly negative impacts of aluminum on the nervous system across the age span. In adults, aluminum exposure can lead to apparently age-related neurological deficits resembling Alzheimer's and has been linked to this disease and to the Guamanian variant, ALS-PDC.  ... In young children, a highly significant correlation exists between the number of pediatric aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines administered and the rate of autism spectrum disorders."

  • Aluminum Should Now Be Considered a Primary Etiological Factor in Alzheimer’s disease (Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports 2017 Jun[3]): "Aluminum is unquestionably neurotoxic and it is accepted as the cause of encephalopathies in, for example, individuals undergoing renal dialysis and similarly in individuals who have received aluminum-based prostheses. There are myriad ways by which aluminum can exert toxicity... Essentially without aluminum in brain tissue there would be no Alzheimer’s disease."

  • All patients with familial Alzheimer's disease have increased aluminum in their brains (J Trace Elem Med Biol 2017 Mar[4]): “We have made the first ever measurements of aluminium in brain tissue from 12 donors diagnosed with familial Alzheimer's disease. The concentrations of aluminium were extremely high, for example, there were values in excess of 10μg/g tissue dry wt. in 5 of the 12 individuals. ... We have supported our quantitative analyses using a novel method of aluminium-selective fluorescence microscopy to visualize aluminium in all lobes of every brain investigated.”

  • Aluminum excess clearly causes brain damage, but the type of damage seen is distinct/different from that seen in Alzheimer’s  disease (Neuropathology 2002 Sep[5]): “We report the case of a 59-year-old female aluminum encephalopathy patient who had chronic renal failure and took 3.0 g hydroxy-aluminum gel per day for the control of serum phosphorus level during a 15-year period. Nine months before her death she developed disorientation, memory disturbance, emotional incontinence, general convulsions and consciousness disturbance. Neuropathologically, the brain showed nerve cell atrophy and mild loss with stromal spongiosis, proliferation of astrocytes and microglia in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and thalamus. Some nerve cells were stained immunohistochemically by phosphorylated neurofilament, but apparent neurofibrillary tangles were not observed. Aluminum was detected in the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex by X-ray microanalysis. Despite the long-term intake of aluminum, there were no neuropathological findings of Alzheimer's disease.”

  • Biopersistence and brain translocation of aluminum adjuvants of vaccines. Front Neurol. 2015 Feb 5;6:4. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2015.00004

  • Non-linear dose-response of aluminium hydroxide adjuvant particles: Selective low dose neurotoxicity. Toxicology. 2017 Jan 15;375:48-57. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2016.11.018. PDF: PDF:

[1] Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe? Curr Med Chem. 2011;18(17):2630-7

[2] Shaw CA, Tomljenovic L. Aluminum in the central nervous system: toxicity in humans and animals, vaccine adjuvants, and autoimmunity. Immunol Res. 2013 Jul;56:304-16

[3] Exley C. Aluminum Should Now Be Considered a Primary Etiological Factor in Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports 2017 Jun: 23-25

[4] Mirza A, King A, Troakes C, Exley C. Aluminium in brain tissue in familial Alzheimer's disease. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2017 Mar;40:30-36

[5] Shirabe T, Irie K, Uchida M. Autopsy case of aluminum encephalopathy. Neuropathology. 2002 Sep;22(3):206-10

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