Announcing the Final Examination of Ms. Emily Hart Barron for the degree of Master of Arts in Anthropology.
Date: July 2, 2021
Time: 10:00 am
Thesis title: IDENTIFYING BIOMARKERS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE FROM THE DAKHLEH OASIS KELLIS 2 CEMETERY USING ICP-MS
Alzheimer's disease is a prevalent disease that affects roughly 5.4 million individuals each year (Fisher et al., 2018). Understanding the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease within the bioarchaeological record can allow anthropologists better insight into a population's health while also understanding the potential social ramifications. Trace element analysis is a valuable tool that allows bioarchaeologists to gain insight into individuals' health and development within the context of the past. In bioarchaeological studies, hair analysis has been used to map the nutritional status and migration patterns of past peoples, with recent studies focusing on disease prevalence. Analysis of hair as a biosource of information for trace element analysis is highly useful for various reasons such as its ability to withstand taphonomic processes, the high concentration of elements within its structure, and the expanded time frame of an individual's life it represents. This study uses ICP-MS to conduct the trace element analysis of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), selenium (Se), and aluminum (Al) to create a profile of hair from 13 bioarchaeological individuals from the Romano-Christian Kellis 2 cemetery in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt and 13 modern individuals from the Florida State Willed Body Program at The University of Central Florida Medical School with confirmed or suspected Alzheimer's disease to conduct a comparative analysis between the two samples. High levels of the aforementioned elements have been noted as resulting in a high toxicity level within the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (Dormandy, 1989). Results indicate that eight individuals from Kellis may have had neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and mood disorders (i.e., depression, anxiety, and ADD/ADHD). Additionally, health profiles for each individual from Kellis were created and show the possibility of other pathological conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney/liver disease, anemia, and diabetes mellitus. This research allows for greater insight into health and illness in the Dakhleh Oasis during the Romano-Christian period, in conjunction with a holistic understanding of the social care practices as discussed through the theoretical framework of the Bioarchaelogy of Care theory.
Outline of Studies:
Committee in Charge:
Dr. Tosha Dupras, Chair
Dr. Lana Williams
Dr. Matthieu Baudelet
Approved for distribution by Dr. Tosha Dupras, Committee Chair, on May 30, 2021.
The public is welcome to attend.