Abstract Title:

Aluminum in Neurological and Neurodegenerative Disease.

Abstract Source:

Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Jan 31. Epub 2019 Jan 31. PMID: 30706368

Abstract Author(s):

Donald R C McLachlan, Catherine Bergeron, Peter N Alexandrov, William J Walsh, Aileen I Pogue, Maire E Percy, Theodore P A Kruck, Zhide Fang, Nathan M Sharfman, Vivian Jaber, Yuhai Zhao, Wenhong Li, Walter J Lukiw

Article Affiliation:

Donald R C McLachlan


With continuing cooperation from 18 domestic and international brain banks over the last 36 years, we have 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. We 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, US Department of Energy, University of Chicago IL, USA. Neurological diseases examined were Alzheimer's disease (AD; N = 186), ataxia Friedreich's type (AFT; N = 6), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; N = 16), autism spectrum disorder (ASD; N = 26), dialysis dementia syndrome (DDS; N = 27), Down's syndrome (DS; trisomy, 21; N = 24), Huntington's chorea (HC; N = 15),multiple infarct dementia (MID; N = 19), multiple sclerosis (MS; N = 23), Parkinson's disease (PD; N = 27), and prion disease (PrD; N = 11) that included bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE;"mad cow disease"), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Straussler-Sheinker syndrome (GSS), progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML; N = 11), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP; N = 24), schizophrenia (SCZ; N = 21), a young control group (YCG; N = 22; mean age, 10.2 ± 6.1 year), and an aged control group (ACG; N = 53; mean age, 71.4 ± 9.3 year). Using ETAAS, all measurements were performed in triplicate on each tissue sample. Among these 17 common neurological conditions, we found a statistically significant trend for aluminum to be increased only in AD, DS, and DDS compared to age- and gender-matched brains from the same anatomical region. This is the largest study of aluminum concentrationin 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 CNS.

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