Studies have raised the possibility that prolonged exposure to fluoride and aluminium in drinking water is capable of causing neurological impairments. Due to the possible chronic exposure to these substances and their ability to readily interact to form a complex which crosses the blood-brain barrier, it is imperative to assess their neurotoxic effects. This study describes the alterations in the nervous system as a result of treatment with 10 mg/kg sodium fluoride and 200 mg/kg aluminium chloride (AlCl3) for 21 days. Histological sections of brain were stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E), Cresyl fast violet and Periodic-Acid Schiff (PAS) to determine various and distinct changes in the morphology of the cells. Results revealed enlarged cells and membrane degeneration in the treatment group which suggests excitotoxicity and oxidative stress, respectively. The study therefore concludes that fluoride and aluminium have neurotoxic effects by their ability to induce excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and cellular damage.
Key words: Fluoride, aluminium, prefrontal cortex, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress.
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