Researchers image iron distribution in Alzheimer brains

An Aussie chemist exploring the role of iron levels in Alzheimer’s disease has led an international effort to map these levels in deceased brains and compare them with iron levels in non-Alzheimer’s brains.

Dominic Hare, PhD, of University of Technology Sydney, and colleagues are using an imaging method called laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.

Hare said the technique functions “like a microscope for metals, allowing you to see how elements such as iron are distributed at the near-cellular level.”

Collaborator Erika Raven, a PhD candidate at Georgetown, says this imaging option is sensitive and specific toward iron. “This is especially important in the study of Alzheimer's disease,” she added, “where investigating iron deposition may contribute toward our understanding of iron imbalances in disease pathology.”

Medical Xpress has the story: