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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

LSU: Aluminum in Neurological and Neurodegenerative Disease

Dr. Zhide Fang, professor and BIOS program director, at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health  was one of the team members to research an analyzed the aluminum content of the temporal lobe neocortex of 511 high-quality human female brain samples from 16 diverse neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, including 2 groups of age-matched controls. Temporal lobes (Brodmann areas A20–A22) were selected for analysis because of their availability and their central role in massive information-processing operations including efferent-signal integration, cognition, and memory formation. They used the analytical technique of (i) Zeeman-type electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry (ETAAS) combined with (ii) preliminary analysis from the advanced photon source (APS) hard X-ray beam (7 GeV) fluorescence raster-scanning (XRFR) spectroscopy device (undulator beam line 2-ID-E) at the Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, University of Chicago, IL. All measurements were performed in triplicate on each tissue sample. Among these 17 common neurological conditions, they found a statistically significant trend for aluminum to be increased only in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Down’s syndrome (DS), and dialysis dementia syndrome (DDS) compared to age- and gender-matched brains from the same anatomical region. This is the largest study of aluminum concentration in the brains of human neurological and neurodegenerative disease ever undertaken. The results continue to suggest that aluminum’s association with AD, DDS, and DS brain tissues may contribute to the neuropathology of those neurological diseases but appear not to be a significant factor in other common disorders of the human brain and/or central nervous system (CNS).

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