Dan R Laks, M.S.
UCLA Neuroscience Research Center
The brain is a main target of aluminum exposure and effect where it induces
neurodegeneration[2-4]. At high levels, aluminum has been demonstrated to inhibit prenatal and postnatal neurodevelopment in humans and animals[5-11]. Aluminum has been shown to target and accumulate in the hippocampus, the primary area of the brain associated with memory
formation[12-14]. Aluminum exposure in human populations has been associated with deficits in cognitive function. Aluminum neurotoxicity in children manifests symptoms of verbal impairment and regression. Although the relationship between aluminum exposure and associated disease such as Alzheimer’s disease[13, 17-23], amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease[24, 25] remains to be fully elucidated, the specific toxicology of aluminum exposure on the endocrine system has been firmly established[26-31]. Aluminum deposits in the pituitary, parathyroid, and adrenals and has been demonstrated to interfere with parathyroid hormone secretion[33-36], insulin like growth factor and T3 levels, and the reproductive system[28, 29, 31, 38].
It is thought that inflammation resulting from aluminum exposure may induce learning and memory deficits. Certainly, targeted effects on the endocrine system may affect immune-modulation and produce a pro-inflammatory cascade that responds to targeted aluminum deposition in the hippocampus with resultant neurotoxicity.
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