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Exposure to aluminium and the subsequent development of a disorder with features of Alzheimer’s disease
  1. D P Perl
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Daniel P Perl
 Neuropathology Division, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA; daniel.perl{at}

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Increased efforts towards surveillance of people exposed to aluminium in Camelford is necessary to correctly identify the relationship of the exposure to increasing risks of the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The paper by Exley and Esiri1(see p 877) reports a most unusual case, namely, a 58-year-old woman with a rapidly progressive, fatal dementing illness, who, at autopsy, shows dramatic β-amyloid deposition of cerebral cortical and leptomeningeal blood vessels, modest numbers of neurofibrillary tangles and Lewy bodies, and evidence of very high aluminium content in affected brain regions. Of particular interest is that she was among the 20 000 people who were accidentally exposed, in July 1988, to exceedingly high concentrations of aluminium in their water supply in the so-called “Camelford incident”. This is the first autopsy-documented case of Alzheimer’s disease-like neurodegeneration …

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  • Published Online First 20 April 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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