Three studies from the same researchers over the past 18 months have shown that aluminum contributes to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease collocating with phosphorylated tau protein, an early initiator of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The latest study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Report builds upon two earlier published studies (including Mold et al., 2020, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease). Aluminum is co-located with phosphorylated tau protein, present as tangles within neurons in the brains of early-onset or familial Alzheimer’s disease.
“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,” said Matthew John Mold, PhD, Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.
The earlier research highlighted widespread co-localization of aluminum and amyloid-β in brain tissue in familial AD.
The current study, used an aluminum-specific fluorescence dye and microscopy. The presence of aluminium was linked to an unequivocal association with tau. Previous research found this was not as easily recognizable as with amyloid-β and there are many more aggregates of aluminum with amyloid-β but the latter are predominantly intracellular, according to Professor Christopher Exley.
George Perry, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, comments: “Aluminum accumulation has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease for nearly half a century, 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.”
- Matthew John Mold, Adam O’Farrell, Benjamin Morris, Christopher Exley. Aluminum and Tau in Neurofibrillary Tangles in Familial Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, 2021; 5 (1): 283 DOI: 10.3233/ADR-210011