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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2014, Article ID 491316, 27 pages
Review Article

Aluminum-Induced Entropy in Biological Systems: Implications for Neurological Disease

1Neural Dynamics Research Group, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, 828 W. 10th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z 1L8
2Program Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada V5Z 1L8
3Program in Neurosciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada V5Z 1L8
4MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
5Hudson, FL 34667, USA
6Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504-3170, USA
7Internal Medicine Group Practice, PhyNet Inc., 4002 Technology Center, Longview, TX 75605, USA

Received 9 June 2014; Accepted 28 July 2014; Published 2 October 2014

Academic Editor: William Valentine

Copyright © 2014 Christopher A. Shaw et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the last 200 years, mining, smelting, and refining of aluminum (Al) in various forms have increasingly exposed living species to this naturally abundant metal. Because of its prevalence in the earth’s crust, prior to its recent uses it was regarded as inert and therefore harmless. However, Al is invariably toxic to living systems and has no known beneficial role in any biological systems. Humans are increasingly exposed to Al from food, water, medicinals, vaccines, and cosmetics, as well as from industrial occupational exposure. Al disrupts biological self-ordering, energy transduction, and signaling systems, thus increasing biosemiotic entropy. Beginning with the biophysics of water, disruption progresses through the macromolecules that are crucial to living processes (DNAs, RNAs, proteoglycans, and proteins). It injures cells, circuits, and subsystems and can cause catastrophic failures ending in death. Al forms toxic complexes with other elements, such as fluorine, and interacts negatively with mercury, lead, and glyphosate. Al negatively impacts the central nervous system in all species that have been studied, including humans. Because of the global impacts of Al on water dynamics and biosemiotic systems, CNS disorders in humans are sensitive indicators of the Al toxicants to which we are being exposed.