We recently published the abstract of a new paper by Exley and Mold 'Imaging of aluminium and amyloid β in neurodegenerative disease' which in particular offers new evidence ralating to the possible etiology of autism. Prof Exley has elaborated:
"...the novel finding was the deposition of amyloid-beta and especially its presence in the vasculature similar to what is called cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) in Alzheimer's disease. CAA could be interpreted as evidence of a toxin in the blood 'attempting' to cross the blood brain barrier to gain entry to brain tissue. CAA along with amyloid beta deposits in parenchyma does very much suggest brain damage and its presence in young brain donors is very surprising. It does raise the question if there are similarities between what is happening in brain tissue in autism and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease."
It is stated in the paper:
"Our observations of amyloid β-like deposits in autism brain tissue are novel and may suggest neuropathology similar to that seen in CAA. We identified several examples of CAA in autism brain tissue as well as deposits of amyloid β in β sheet conformations in parenchymal tissues...Previous research identified diffuse deposits of amyloid β in brain tissue in older individuals with autism (39 and 50 years of age)...while herein amyloid β in β sheet conformations was confirmed in individuals with autism aged, 14, 15, 22, 33, 44 and 50 years of age.
Recently the non-amyloidogenic pathway of metabolism of amyloid precursor protein has been implicated in autism...while our observations suggest that the amyloidogenic pathway may also be important..."
It is obviously vital that this discovery is further investigated. Read the full paper here.