Camelford Resident Died of Rare Form of an Aluminium-Associated Early Onset Alzheimers-like Disease
The first neuropathological examination of a Camelford resident who, in 1988, was exposed to extremely high concentrations of aluminium in drinking water and died of an unknown neurological condition, has revealed a rare form of an early onset Alzheimer’s-like disease.
Analysis of affected brain tissue revealed extremely high concentrations of aluminium - levels similar to those observed previously in aluminium-induced brain diseases, including dialysis-associated encephalopathy (dialysis dementia).
Dr Christopher Exley, of the Birchall Centre for Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Science, Lennard-Jones Laboratories at Keele University in Staffordshire, and Professor Margaret M Esiri, of the Departments of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford, and Neuropathology, Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust, Oxford, found no evidence of genetic mutations normally associated with early-onset forms of Alzheimer’s Disease. The neuropathology was characterised by severe deposition of beta-amyloid in cortical and leptomeningeal blood vessels in the brain.
This is the first discovery of an association between aluminium and any form of presenile dementia and the first time that the aluminium status of an individual has been linked with APOE, the major risk factor in sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease.
It is concluded that there is no likelihood that these levels of aluminium could appear in the brain by chance and, therefore, the previous exposure to aluminium in 1988 may have been a contributing factor. It is recommended that further neuropathological examinations are carried out on similar neurological conditions both from within and without the exposed population of Camelford.
The research is published in the Journal for Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry and will be available Online First (http://jnnp.bmjjournals.com/onlinefirst.dtl) from Thursday 20th April.
The results of this first neuropathological examination of an individual, who was exposed to the contaminated water in 1988 and has since died, opposes the conclusions of the most recent draft report (January 2005) of a DH Enquiry into Camelford ( http://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/cotnonfood/lowermoor.htm), which concluded that no long term health effects of the incident were expected. This report, which has been heavily criticised (see for example, http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/330/7486/275-a?ck=nck), has yet to be published and would need to be re-written to take the latest findings into account.
Thousands of homes were affected in 1988 when the water supply in Camelford, Cornwall, was contaminated with a toxic mix of aluminium sulphate and metals. A relief driver accidentally tipped 20 tonnes of aluminium sulphate into the wrong tank. The chemicals, used to remove solid particles from cloudy water, went directly into the mains supply at Lowermoor Water Treatment Works and affected up to 20,000 people.
Dr Chris Exley | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...