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J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Oct 18;54(4):1333-1338.

The Identification of Aluminum in Human Brain Tissue Using Lumogallion and Fluorescence Microscopy.

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The Birchall Centre, Lennard-Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.
Department of Clinical Neuropathology, King's College Hospital, London, UK.
MRC London Neurodegenerative Diseases Brain Bank, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College, London, UK.


Aluminum in human brain tissue is implicated in the etiologies of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. While methods for the accurate and precise measurement of aluminum in human brain tissue are widely acknowledged, the same cannot be said for the visualization of aluminum. Herein we have used transversely-heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry to measure aluminum in the brain of a donor with Alzheimer's disease, and we have developed and validated fluorescence microscopy and the fluor lumogallion to show the presence of aluminum in the same tissue. Aluminum is observed as characteristic orange fluorescence that is neither reproduced by other metals nor explained by autofluorescence. This new and relatively simple method to visualize aluminum in human brain tissue should enable more rigorous testing of the aluminum hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease (and other neurological conditions) in the future.


Aluminum; Alzheimer’s disease; brain tissue; fluorescence microscopy; lumogallion; transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry

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