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Iron deposits in multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease brains *

Iron may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological diseases by promoting oxidative damage. The localization of iron in multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains was investigated to further the understanding of its pathogenic role in these disease states.

Earlier studies, utilizing a standard Perls' stain, yielded conflicting reports regarding the distribution of iron deposits in MS brains, and a previous study on AD brains utilized a diaminobenzidine (DAB) enhanced version of this stain. In the present study, a modified version of the DAB-enhanced stain was used; it utilizes sodium borohydride, proteinase K, Triton X-100 and xylenes to increase the accessibility of tissue iron to histochemical reagents.

This modified method can reveal iron deposits that are missed by the Perls' or DAB-enhanced Perls' stains. In addition to its normal deposition in oligodendrocytes and myelin, iron was detected in reactive microglia, ameboid microglia and macrophages in MS brains. In AD brains, three types of plaques were stained: dense core, clear core and amorphous plaques. Punctate staining was also observed in neurons in the corticies of AD brains.

 The structure accounting for punctate labeling may be damaged mitochondria, lipofuscin or amyloid deposits. Dense core plaques, clear plaques and punctate labeling were not detected in the previous AD study which utilized only the DAB-enhanced Perls' stain. The labeling of these additional structures illustrates the benefit of the modified method. In summary, the localization of iron deposition in MS and AD brains indicates potential sites where iron could promote oxidative damage in these disease states.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 03-17-2008