Diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification (DNTC) is a form of slowly progressive dementia in which no senile plaques are observed. The calcification is one of the most characteristic features of DNTC. We examined the elemental content of certain mineral deposits (lead, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, copper and zinc) in the calcified and non-calcified regions of eight cases of DNTC, five cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in eight non-demented elderly controls. The study was performed using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and X-ray spectrometry on 10% formalin-fixed brain tissue. A marked abundance of calcium and phosphorus was observed in the calcified regions of DNTC and non-DNTC brains. Although no lead was observed in the non-calcified regions of DNTC and in non-DNTC brains, traces of lead were detected exclusively in the calcified regions of DNTC brains. The implications and possible significance of the lead accumulation in DNTC brains are discussed.
- Diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification (DNTC)
- X-ray spectrometry
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