, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 825-829

Membrane fluidity of platelets and erythrocytes in patients with Alzheimer's disease and the effect of small amounts of aluminium on platelet and erythrocyte membranes

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The membrane fluidity of platelet and erythrocyte membranes in 10 Alzheimer's disease patients and 9 age-matched controls was studied. The platelet membranes of patients with Alzheimer's disease were found to be significantly more fluid than those of controls (p<0.02). However, erythrocyte membranes of Alzheimer patients were less fluid (more viscous) than those of controls (p<0.05). On further investigation of platelet and erythrocyte membranes obtained from healthy volunteers, the fluidity was found to change with increasing aluminium concentrations. When aluminium ammonium sulphate (0.01–10 μM) was added to membrane suspensions, the fluidity of platelet membranes was increased, whereas the fluidity of erythrocyte membranes was decreased (i.e. the microviscosity was increased).