Researchers Link High Levels of Aluminum to Amyloid-Beta in Same Brain Regions of Those With Familial Alzheimer’s

Researchers Link High Levels of Aluminum to Amyloid-Beta in Same Brain Regions of Those With Familial Alzheimer’s
Researchers have found large deposits of aluminum and amyloid-beta — the protein that forms toxic aggregates in the brain and is thought to be involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease — in the same brain regions of patients with familial Alzheimer’s. Their findings point towards a close relationship between brain aluminum content and the levels of amyloid-beta, possibly modulated by genetic factors that predispose individuals to the disease. The research was published in a study, “Aluminum and Amyloid-β in Familial Alzheimer’s Disease,” in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. For more than 40 years, studies have suggested that aluminum and amyloid-beta are associated with each. Both are considered major risk factors for Alzheimer’s. In a previous study, the same group of researchers discovered large amounts of aluminum in the brain of patients with familial Alzheimer’s, an inherited form of the disease caused by mutations in certain genes. To investigate the possible relationship between aluminum and amyloid-beta, these investigators, from Keele University in collaboration with colleagues at University of Innsbruck, analyzed brain tissue samples from a group of Colombian donors with familial Alzheimer’s. All patient donors carried the PS1-E280Aa mutation, which stimulates the production of amyloid-beta in the brain, leading to a rapid and severe progression of Alzheimer’s. The researchers measured and compared the levels of aluminum in brain samples of patient donors to those of individuals who did not have any neurological or neurodegenerative disorder (controls). To examine where aluminum was accumulating in the brain, they used aluminum-specific fluorescence microscopy imaging — a powerful microscopy technique that
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