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Formaldehyde & Alzheimer's
sjb49 posted:
I lost both parents and an aunt to what we were told was Alzheimer's. Interestingly, my parents and aunt had their respective homes insulated with a foam-type insulation in the early 70s. All developed the symptoms roughly 5 to 7 years afterward. A neighbor who also had her home insulated with the same material succumbed to Alzheimer's/dementia as well.

I later found out this type of insulation contained formaldehyde. Additionally, there's no history of dementia on either side of my family nor the neighbor's.

Coming from a science background, I'm aware of the toxicity of formaldehyde. Has any link been established between Alzheimers/dementia and long term exposure to formaldehyde?
Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear sjb49,

My condolences on the loss of your parents. That's a good question to ask a doctor or a scientist who researches Alzheimer's. Perhaps even the EPA.

This article on the Causes of Alzheimer's does not mention a link. It does however say "Although most people who have Alzheimer's disease do not have a family history of the condition, you are at increased risk for the condition if a member of your family has it."

So the fact that there is no family history is not unique.

Yours in health,

sjb49 replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thanks Byroney. The fact that most who have Alzheimer's don't have a history leads me to believe there's a possible environmental link. I would be interested to know how prevalent the disease was in the past. I also believe it was, to a large degree, misdiagnosed in the past as "hardening of the arteries."

I'm near the University of Chicago and will try to find a researcher who may be able to shed some light on the topic.
Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to sjb49's response:
Dear sjb49,

I sure hope you are successful. Any research that can show a cause and lead to a cure would be an amazing discovery.

Best wishes,


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