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Increased amount of zinc in the hippocampus and amygdala of Alzheimer's diseased brains: a proton-induced X-ray emission spectroscopic analysis of cryostat sections from autopsy material

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Zinc has been implicated as a contributing cause of the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but consensus on the zinc content of AD brains has not yet been established. In the present study, multi-element PIXE was used to measure zinc in cryostat sections of brain tissue from AD patients and from normal control subjects. Compared to their age-matched controls, the AD patients showed an increase in zinc in the hippocampal and amygdalar regions. The instrumental PIXE assays do not show whether the zinc changes are due to altered zinc in the boutons of Zinc-ENriched (ZEN) neurons, i.e., zinc ions in synaptic vesicles, or to changes in the amount of zinc tightly bound to macromolecules. We hypothesise that the increased zinc level is caused by an increase in the amount of ZEN terminals. Such an increase could be the result of a sprout of ZEN terminals in diseased areas of the brain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Pages (from-to)53-9
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1997

    Research areas

  • Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Amygdala, Autopsy, Hippocampus, Humans, Regression Analysis, Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission, Synaptic Vesicles, Zinc

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