Increased Aluminum Content in Certain Brain Structures is Correlated with Higher Silicon Concentration in Alcoholic Use Disorder.
Molecules. 2019 May 3 ;24(9). Epub 2019 May 3. PMID: 31058813
INTRODUCTION: Alcohol overuse may be related to increased aluminum (Al) exposure, the brain accumulation of which contributes to dementia. However, some reports indicate that silicon (Si) may have a protective role over Al-induced toxicity. Still, no study has ever explored the brain content of Al and Si in alcoholic use disorder (AUD).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To fill this gap, the present study employed inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry to investigate levels of Al and Si in 10 brain regions and in the liver of AUD patients (= 31) and control (= 32) post-mortem.
RESULTS: Al content was detected only in AUD patients at mean± SD total brain content of 1.59 ± 1.19 mg/kg, with the highest levels in the thalamus (4.05 ± 12.7 mg/kg, FTH), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (3.48 ± 9.67 mg/kg, ILF), insula (2.41 ± 4.10 mg/kg) and superior longitudinal fasciculus (1.08 ± 2.30 mg/kg). Si content displayed no difference between AUD and control, except for FTH. Positive inter-region correlations between the content of both elements were identified in the cingulate cortex, hippocampus, and ILF.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that AUD patients may potentially be prone to Al-induced neurodegeneration in their brain-although this hypothesis requires further exploration.