Medical Metal

The Stuff Beer Cans Are Made From Is Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

The metal may play a role in forming the neuron-killing plaques associated with Alzheimer's.

Apr 12 / Dan Robitzski
YesMore via Unsplash / Futurism
Image by YesMore via Unsplash / Futurism

There appears to be a troubling link between aluminum in the brain and the early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, according to a new study.

Researchers have known for years that aluminum has something to do with Alzheimer’s, but now Keele University scientists have discovered that the metal pops up at the same places in the brain as the tangles of tau protein that appear in the early stages of the disease, according to research published last month in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports. The discovery suggests that it’s possible that aluminum could even play a role in forming those tangles and plaques — which precede the onset of Alzheimer’s — in the first place.

“The presence of these tangles is associated with neuronal cell death, and observations of aluminum in these tangles may highlight a role for aluminum in their formation,” lead study author Matthew Bold said in a press release.

That doesn’t mean that you need to ban aluminum cans from your home. Aluminum, perhaps introduced through food or other exposures, is commonly found in healthy brains, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, a dementia-focused charity based in London. But as people age, their kidneys may lose the ability to filter it out of the brain ­— potentially leading to the Alzheimer’s ties uncovered in the new study.

Advertisement

“Aluminum accumulation has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease for nearly half a century,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease editor-in-chief George Perry said in the release, “but it is the meticulously specific studies of Drs. Mold and Exley that are defining the exact molecular interaction of aluminum and other multivalent metals that may be critical to formation of the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.”


As a Futurism reader, we invite you join the Singularity Global Community, our parent company’s forum to discuss futuristic science & technology with like-minded people from all over the world. It’s free to join, sign up now!

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Singularity Education Group All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.