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Controversies in Neurology
May 1998

Aluminum Exposure and Risk of Alzheimer Disease

Author Affiliations


Arch Neurol. 1998;55(5):742. doi:10.1001/archneur.55.5.742

TEA BRIMS with aluminum. Although tea-drinking countries have idiosyncrasies, there is no evidence that they have a higher incidence of Alzheimer disease (AD). Despite its waning sway, the aluminum hypothesis associated with AD offered one of the first scientifically plausible explanations for the development of a classic neurodegenerative disease, yielding considerable understanding about aluminum neurotoxicity and the pathologic features of the brain.

Forbes and Hill review the evidence for an apparent association between aluminum exposure and the risk of developing AD. After acknowledging the methodological limitations of the studies cited, they answer the question with a tentative yes. Munoz counters with a resounding no and combines pathologic and epidemiological evidence to buttress his position. Moreover, he makes the point that a continued espousal of the aluminum hypothesis would be fruitless and harmful.