Q. Is there a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease?
More on Healthy Mind and Memory
A. Forty years ago, scientists made a pivotal discovery: aluminum injected into the brains of rabbits triggered the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, the same type found in Alzheimer’s disease. A rush of research followed—the metal was also found in diseased human brains—and soon people were tossing their aluminum-containing antiperspirants, antacids and cooking utensils.
But now, hundreds of studies later, the hypothesized link between high aluminum intake and Alzheimer’s disease has faltered. Drinking-water studies hint at an association, showing that people whose water supply contains excessive aluminum may be at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. But the data on aluminum pots are few and circumstantial, and studies on antiperspirants and other aluminum-containing product are similarly slim. Today, most experts believe that aluminum’s role, if any, is small—and that diet and even crossword puzzles are far better places to focus anti-dementia energies.