Intraneuronal aluminum accumulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinsonism-dementia of Guam

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Science  10 Sep 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4564, pp. 1053-1055
DOI: 10.1126/science.7112111


Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry was used to analyze the elemental content of neurofibrillary tangle (NFT)-bearing and NFT-free neurons within the Sommer's sector (H1 region) of the hippocampus in Guamanian Chamorros with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia and in neurologically normal controls. Preliminary data indicate prominent accumulation of aluminum within the nuclear region and perikaryal cytoplasm of NFT-bearing hippocampal neurons, regardless of the underlying neurological diagnosis. These findings further extend the association between intraneuronal aluminum and NFT formation and support the hypothesis that environmental factors are related to the neurodegenerative changes seen in the Chamorro population.