Scientists argue about the role of aluminum, zinc and other substances in the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is a death of nerve cells. In scientific circles there is a controversy that leads to atrophy of the nervous tissue.
One of the most famous but at the same time contradictory theories is aluminum. After detecting traces of this metal in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease, it initially suspected that it contributes to the development of dementia. However, more recent studies have not been able to confirm this hypothesis or simply give questionable results.
When conducting pathoanatomical studies, aluminum in an amount exceeding the norm was indeed detected in people with Alzheimer's disease, although not all of them. The questionability of the results was also influenced by the fact that a certain amount of aluminum could be present in substances used in laboratories for the study of brain tissue.
Aluminum - the most common element in the earth's crust, it is found in small quantities in many household chemicals and products. That is why there were fears that aluminum, obtained with food or otherwise, could be a factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease.
On the other hand, people with significant aluminum exposure did not show an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. In addition, aluminum, which is present in non-food dishes, and aluminum, originally contained in some foods, such as potatoes, is not absorbed by the body.
In general, scientists converge in one: aluminum plays a role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease. But what - is definitely not known.
As for zinc, scientists also argue. Some believe that the cause of Alzheimer's disease is too much zinc, especially in certain parts of the brain, others are accused of high levels of zinc in the body.
In a recent laboratory experiment, zinc contributed to the formation of clusters of beta-amyloid protein in samples of the cerebrospinal fluid. But insoluble deposits of this protein in the brain are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
Under suspicion of neurotoxicity, there were two substances contained in some beans of African, Indian and Guam origin. Both of them enhance the action of glutamic acid - a mediator of the central nervous system, at high concentrations has a neurotoxic effect.
In 1987, in Canada, an outbreak of poisoning was observed, in which patients experienced neurological symptoms. Then it turned out that people were poisoned with mussels, infected withmactic acid - a toxin, also acting through the receptors of glutamic acid and causing the death of neurons.
And although these toxins can not be the cause of the development of dementia, they can ultimately shed light on the mechanisms that lead to damage to nerve cells in Alzheimer's disease.
Some viruses have been able to conceal in human body for decades and to intensify with a certain coincidence of circumstances, causing damage and death of nerve cells. For many years, researchers have tried to find viruses or other infectious agents in Alzheimer's disease, but no reliable information yet.