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9 > Image 9 of Kentucky Alumnus, 1985, No. 1

Part of Kentucky alumnus

proposed project involves biochemical to support that finding, said Rhoads, will rry ro determine the _ and morphological studies and includes Markesbery. "But," he said, "we did mechanism of decline in [he brains of following an already established group find that it accumulates with age. We Alzheimer`5 parienrs and ro see if ir is of aging Alzheimer patients and have found large concentrations of a factor in the chain of causality of {he continuing to collect and evaluate bromine and mercury, although we disease blood, hair, fingernail and postmortem don't know what it means yet. "The combined researsh represents a brain specimens for the other studies. "Since we don't know the cause, it is major undertaking," Markesbery said, One study which would use the important to examine everything," "because it cuts across departmental samples will primarily involve Dr. S. Markesbery said. "It has been shown barriers to allow us to work effectively T. DeKosky, UK assistant professor of rhar aluminum and calcium are found toward a common goal." ,, neurology. He will examine in increased measures in the brains of I DlOChITllCHl factors kP HCUTOHS Alzheirnerys Patients Maybe it is not , { . O~. vl .1* J . j or nerve cells functioning properly in necessarily the amount, but rather H2 ' ` i C " h:"' , the brain. It has been hypothesized where that amount is located? A ' ii iw`"{ i _ a i that in Alzheimer`s Disease certain A sophisticated form of analysis, U "" E damaged nerve cells do not repair Instrumental Neutron Activational * , "Wi { -,_ r themselves. By examining material Analysis, allows the researchers to r .e { . / | I extracted from human brain tissue, he observe and measure different trace _ nl . will try to get a better understanding elements in the brain at the same time, ' gi- of what allows fl'l cells CO live Ol' The Process is able ro differenriare l Drs. ].T. Slevin and D.L. Sparks, UK between the types of elements. li ,__ professors of neurology, are interested Another approach, using a high- r . A in exploring and measuring powered electromicroprobe, enables the _ Y? " ` "` +. Hl1IOClll"l'1iCal [I'aHSITlitfI'S ifl al'] area researchers ro see where each rrace / " deep within the brain called the basalis element is located in individual brain 7* ` - , _ of meynert. Neurochemical cells, i " fj T - i transmittors are the agents which "The trace element study gives us an if " ~; _ I i_ allow HCIVC cells [O COfI`II`DUI1lC3.[ opportunity ro very carefully follow I 1 P :e~:' _ I X each other. One of the major Alzheimers patients throughout the "` " 5 i transmittors is a chemical called stages of the disease by taking hair, iihwf ` l " Q i " S ` ?1C[ylCl'10lll'1C, primarily supplied [l`l fingernail, and blood sarnplesf basalis of meynert. Markesbery said. "Using these we can In Alzheimer's patients` brains, the look for and record the trace elements neurotransmittors fail to communicate and then compare with what the e was told his mother had properly, and autopsies show a major autopsy shows" Alzheimer's Disease, a loss of acetylcholine. Slevins and Another aspect of following dementing, fatal illness, Spark's research primarily is aimed at Alzheimer's patients in this study is which has no known cause defining what happens in the basalis of the addition of 20 sets of twins of or cure. The diagnosis indicated she meynert area of the brain that is which one of each pair has was in the second stage of the disease responsible for the loss of Alzheimer's. "Dr. Ehmann came up which is characterized by loss of long acetylcholine. with this idea," Markesbery said. "Since and short-term memory, personality Markesbery and William Ehmann, apparently ten to 20 percent of the changes, and behavioral problems such UK professor of chemistry, will closely cases of Alzheimer`s appear to be as outbursts of anger or hostility for no examine the role of trace element inherited, using twins, because their apparent reason, and a loss of toxicity and/or imbalances in genetic information is so similar, could reasoning skills. Alzheimer`s. Trace elements are provide some interesting information." He faced the dilemma of what to substances, such as zinc, aluminum, Dr. D.A. Butterfield, UK chemistry do. She seemed to recognize him and ] cobalt, calcium, and mercury which professor, will examine the potential she was physically healthy. He could appear in the body. Some trace abnormalities in the cell membrane of not, with a clear conscience, place her elements are important in the body`s Alzheimers patients' brains. His in a nursing home. During the week of metabolic processes, while others are previous studies have shown an the doctor`s evaluation of her, she had . nonessential and occur in the body as a alteration of protein in the red blood been living with his family and it was result of the persons environment. cell membrane in Alzheimers To apparent she was having difficulty Depending on the element`s toxicity, determine further how the membrane adjusting to the change in an imbalance can result in health functions, he will measure how specific environment. What would she do in a problems or death. substances are altered when they enter new and strange environment, like a One hypothesis is that an excessive and leave the red blood cell membrane. nursing home, without even one amount of aluminum is present in A decline in protein synthesis in the familiar face? For him, there was no Alzheimer`s patient`s brains. However, brain is evident in Alzheimers Disease. choice. Although the doctor had their current research does not appear UK Professor of Biochemistry R.E. recommended that he explore the UK 7