Investigation of elemental changes in brain tissues following excitotoxic injury

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Recently the ANSTO heavy ion microprobe has been used for elemental mapping of thin brain tissue sections. The fact that a very small portion of the proton energy is used for X-ray excitation combined with small variations of the major element concentrations makes μ-PIXE imaging and GeoPIXE analysis a challenging task. Excitotoxic brain injury underlies the pathology of stroke and various neurodegenerative disorders. Large fluxes in Ca+2 cytosolic concentrations are a key feature of the initiation of this pathophysiological process. In order to understand if these modifications are associated with changes in the elemental composition, several brain sections have been mapped with μ-PIXE. Increases in Ca+2 cytosolic concentrations were indicative of the pathophysiological process continuing 1 week after an initiating neural insult. We were able to measure significant variations in K and Ca concentration distribution across investigated brain tissue. These variations correlate very well with physiological changes visible in the brain tissue. Moreover, the obtained μ-PIXE results clearly demonstrate that the elemental composition changes significantly correlate with brain drauma. © 2013, Elsevier B.V.
PIXE analysis, Brain, Pathology, Animal tissues, Neurology, Ion microprobe analysis
Siegele, R., Howell, N. R., Callaghan, P. D., & Pastuovic, Z. (2013). Investigation of elemental changes in brain tissues following excitotoxic injury. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 125-128. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2012.12.050