Aluminum neurotoxicity in mammals
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Although aluminum comprises a large percentage of the Earth's crust, it is excluded from body tissues, and especially from the central nervous system. When aluminum is experimentally introduced to the central nervous system, several neurotoxic effects are observed:i.e. neurofibrillary changes, behavioral and cognitive deficits and enzymatic and neurotransmitter changes, as well as certain types of epileptic seizures.
The localization of relatively high levels of aluminum in Alzheimer disease, Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinsonism-dementia has led to the implication of aluminum as a pathogenic factor in these diseases. Recent studies have shown that microtubule-associated proteins are part of the paired helical filaments which make up the intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangle. Other studies have identified the protein making the vascular and neuritic (senile) plaque amyloid and located the gene responsible for this protein to chromosome 21.
Our electron microprobe analysis studies have not found the levels of aluminum or silicon in either the neurofibrillary tangles or amyloid cores reported elsewhere, nor have the levels of aluminum been elevated in approximately one half of the tangles and plaque cores examined to date.
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