Aging of the brain
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
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Zusammenfassung In der Frontal- und Occipitalhirnrinde, in Hippocampus, Mandelkern, Striatum, Thalamus, Pallidum, S. nigra, Nucl. ruber, Ncl. dentatus, Oliva inf. und Centrum semiovale wurde die Konzentration von Fe, Zn, Cu, Mg und Ca bestimmt. Bei Fe und Cu konnte ein bestimmtes Verteilungmuster für diese Gebiete ermittelt und statistisch gesicher werden. Für Zn, Ca und Mg waren keine signifikanten regionären Unterschiede nachweisbar. In den untersuchten Altersgruppen ist für diese 5 Elemente eine Altersabhängigkeit nicht erkennbar.
Summary The elements iron, copper, zinc, magnesium and calcium were quantitatively determined in several regions of the human brain, including frontal and occipital cortex, hippocampus, n. amygdalae, striatum, thalamus, pallidum, substantia nigra, n. ruber, n. dentatus, oliva inferior and centrum ovale (white matter). Samples were obtained on autopsy from a total of 29 brains at time periods ranging from 12 to 48 hrs after death. Age groups and number of cases (in parentheses) were as follows: 0–2 years (6), 30–40 years (2), 41–50 years (4), 51–60 years (4), 61–70 years (9) and 71–80 years (4). Samples were analysed by means of atomic absorption spectrophotometry following appropriate sample preparation. Results are based on unit dry weight. When the different age groups were compared to each other both the overall means of the five elements studied and the mean concentrations of individual regions remained essentially constant from 31–80 years of age. Values of adult brain were, however, generally higher than those of infant brains (0–2 years of age), changes in levels apparently taking place during infancy and possibly adolescence. Regionally, iron and copper were found to be distributed according to a statistically characteristic pattern; the iron content of the pallidum, putamen, substantia nigra and the caudate nucleus was significantly higher, that of the inferior olive lower when the concentrations of the frontal cortex were arbitrarily used as a reference point. Likewise, copper levels of the substantia nigra were higher, that of the centrum semiovale lower than that of the frontal cortex (P〈0.01). Although no such distinctions could be made regarding the distribution of zinc, magnesium and calcium compared to frontal cortex, the overall regional variation was significant even for these elements when the data were submitted to a one-way analysis of variance (e.g. P〈0.01 for zinc and magnesium). It should be noted that the variance of the means of iron, copper, zinc and calcium was great for some of the anatomical regions, while much less so for others for reasons as yet unknown. The results indicate that in human brain the elements examined undergo little change during adulthood up to the beginning of senescence, and regional differences persist throughout this life span.
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