Long-term persistence of vaccine-derived aluminum hydroxide is associated with chronic cognitive dysfunction

J Inorg Biochem. 2009 Nov;103(11):1571-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 20.


Macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF) is an emerging condition, characterized by specific muscle lesions assessing long-term persistence of aluminum hydroxide within macrophages at the site of previous immunization. Affected patients mainly complain of arthromyalgias, chronic fatigue, and cognitive difficulties. We designed a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests to prospectively delineate MMF-associated cognitive dysfunction (MACD). Compared to control patients with arthritis and chronic pain, MMF patients had pronounced and specific cognitive impairment. MACD mainly affected (i) both visual and verbal memory; (ii) executive functions, including attention, working memory, and planning; and (iii) left ear extinction at dichotic listening test. Cognitive deficits did not correlate with pain, fatigue, depression, or disease duration. Pathophysiological mechanisms underlying MACD remain to be determined. In conclusion, long-term persistence of vaccine-derived aluminum hydroxide within the body assessed by MMF is associated with cognitive dysfunction, not solely due to chronic pain, fatigue and depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / administration & dosage
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / adverse effects*
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Fasciitis / chemically induced*
  • Fasciitis / complications*
  • Fasciitis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*


  • Vaccines
  • Aluminum Hydroxide