Aluminium in Brain Tissue in Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental conditions caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. The mechanism underlying its etiology and the factors associated at the onset of progression are multi-factorial. Autisms are range of conditions distinguished by unreasonable social skills, difficulty in speech, repetitive behaviors and unique strengths. However, some research study reveals that exposure to aluminum has been implicated in autism spectrum disorder. Wherein, hair used as an indicator of human exposure to aluminum as well as in blood and urine. There were also reports that pediatrics vaccines contain aluminum adjuvant that caused indirect infant exposure to aluminum. Hitherto, no previous records of aluminum in brain tissue. That is why this research study about to identify the aluminum found in the brain tissue.


Aluminum content in autism brain tissue

The aluminum content in brain tissues from the donors diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is high. Approximately 40% of the brain tissue has the aluminum content and males have higher deposits of aluminum than females. On the other hand, white and grey matter of the brain contains aluminum both intra and extracellular location. Using fluorescence microscopy provides the location of aluminum in the brain tissue. Moreover, the mode of entry of aluminum somehow came from the blood-brain barrier and was then taken by the microglial cells. Interestingly, an inflammatory cell in the vasculature also opens the possibility of entry of aluminum into the brain.


Additionally, atomic absorption spectrometry was used to measure for the first time the aluminum content of brain tissue in autism. Particularly the aluminum was found in frontal, occipital, temporal and parietal lobes of the brain. But the highest value was found in occipital lobe and that could perhaps implicate the cause of autism spectrum disorder.


Therefore, the presence of intracellular aluminum associated with non-neuronal cells is a notable observation in autism brain tissue. Which is also offers insights about the origin of aluminum in brain and the putative role in autism spectrum disorder. Overall, the presence of aluminum in meninges, inflammatory cells, vasculature, grey and white matter possibly linked the etiology of autism spectrum disorder.


Source: Prepared by Joan Tura from

Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

Volume 46, March 2018, Pages 76-82