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Brain Res. 2000 Jan 10;852(2):274-8.

Histochemically-reactive zinc in amyloid plaques, angiopathy, and degenerating neurons of Alzheimer's diseased brains.

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Center for Biomedical Engineering, Anatomy and Neuroscience, Jennie-Sealy Hospital, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, 77555, USA.


Excess brain zinc has been implicated in Alzheimer's neuropathology. Here we evaluated that hypothesis by searching the brains of Alzheimer's patients for abnormal zinc deposits. Using histochemical methods, we found vivid Zn2+ staining in the amyloid deposits of dense-core (senile) plaques, in the amyloid angiopathy surrounding diseased blood vessels, and in the somata and dendrites of neurons showing the characteristic neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) of Alzheimer's. In contrast, brains from age-matched, non-demented subjects showed only occasional staining for Zn2+ in scattered neurons and possible plaques. A role of abnormal zinc metabolism in Alzheimer's neuropathology is suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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