BORDEAUX, FRANCE. Much of the evidence linking aluminum to Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been controversial. The results of a study just released by researchers at the University of Bordeaux should go a long way to support the contention that a high intake of aluminum is a potent risk factor for AD. The study involved 2700 older (65 years and over) French citizens (non-demented) who had lived in the same location for many years. The researchers measured the aluminum and silica content of the participants' drinking water over an eight-year period and also exposed the participants to psychological and neurological examinations to determine their mental status. At the end of the experiment 253 of the subjects had been diagnosed with dementia including 182 cases of AD. Analysis of the collected data showed that participants living in areas where the water supply contained 0.1 mg/L of aluminum or more were twice as likely to have developed AD as were subjects whose water supply had less aluminum. This correlation held true even after adjusting for other known risk factors for the development of AD. A high silica content, on the other hand, was found to be protective. The participants who lived in areas where the water contained 11.25 mg/L or more had a 26 per cent lower risk of developing AD than did the participants drinking water with a lower silica content. The researchers conclude that a high (above 0.1 mg/L) concentration of aluminum in drinking water may be a significant risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Rondeau, Virginie, et al. Relation between aluminum concentrations in drinking water and Alzheimer's disease: an 8-year follow-up study. American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 152, July 1, 2000, pp. 59- 66