One of the cases that stand out in my mind from the beginning days in practice was of a woman with Alzheimer's disease who was brought in by her husband for treatment. They were old time Vermonters - Earl, a farmer who prided himself on ingenuity and self-reliance, and Mary, a sturdy, strong looking woman. (Not their real names.)
Aluminum toxicity is one of the most commonly cited factors in the development of dementia and Alzheimers disease. Cookware and utensils has been a major of source of exposure. Increased awareness has brought a reduction in the domestic use of these implements in more recent years, but comes too late for the current elderly generation amongst whom dementia has become epidemic. Even so, cooking techniques which bring aluminum foil into direct contact with foods are still common and the use of aluminum cookware is still widespread in institutional cooking and restaurants, as well as the developing world for reasons of affordability and convenience.
Pharmaceutical medication is another often overlooked route by which aluminum is introduced into the body. While the presence of mercury has gained much more notoriety, aluminum is also used as a preservative in vaccinations and other drugs.
It is no wonder then that in the homeopathic treatment of dementia, a remedy derived from aluminum - or more specifically aluminum oxide is one of the most common prescriptions.
Recently an elderly man with significant cognitive impairment was brought to my office by his wife in the hope that there might be something to be done to improve his condition. Although on the surface he appeared cheerful, attentive and able to understand what was being said, it was the lack of coherence in his speech that betrayed how confused he really was. Most any question that was posed him would be answered with a reply that started off well, but inevitably devolved into a sequence of words that made little sense.
His story was that about 5 years earlier, he had suffered a massive heart attack that he barely survived but since that time he no longer could think straight. Previous to that he had a history of colon cancer about 15 years earlier, but there was no history of dementia.