Aluminum may cause hyperphosphorylation of tau and result in aberrant dislocation to dendrites

1 December 2010

The article by Walton [1] indicated aluminum is instrumental in causing hyperphosphorylation of tau with subsequent development of neurofibrillary tangle formation. Recently tau has been found to mislocalize to dendritic spines causing early synaptic dysfunction [2]. Aluminum mediated hyperphosphorylation of tau may be a trigger for tau dysfunction and abnormal cellular trafficking with mislocalization to dendrites causing synaptic dysfunction, which probably is an early feature of Alzheimer's disease.

Steven R Brenner, MD
St. Louis VA Medical Center and Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA; Email:

[1] Walton JR (2010) Evidence for participation of aluminum in neurofibrilllary tangle formation and growth in Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis 22, 65-72.
[2] Hoover BR, Reed MN, Su J, Penrod RD, Kotilinek LA, Grant MK, Pitstick R, Carlson GA, Lanier LM, Yuan LL, Ashe KH, Liao D (2010) Tau mislocalizatoin of dendritic spines mediates synaptic dysfunction independently of neurodegeneration. Neuron 68, 1067-1081.