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Many results from in vitro and animal studies have highlighted the important role played by specific metals, such as copper, iron and zinc, in the diverse toxic pathways on which Alzheimer's disease (AD) develops. Metals seem to mediate the aggregation and neurotoxicity of amyloid-beta (ABeta), the main constituent of the amyloid plaques, commonly seen in AD (1). The link between metals and AD has been mostly investigated with a focus on their local accumulation in defined areas of the brain critical for AD. In the present review, I have instead approached the issue from the different perspective of a systemic, rather than local, alteration of copper and iron status. This view is supported by the results of a series of in vivo studies demonstrating that abnormalities of metals homeostasis correlate with the main deficits and specific markers of AD, such as ABeta and Tau proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid. These findings clearly suggest that local metals accumulation in brain areas critical for AD should be viewed within a wider framework of metals systemic alteration.
Department of Neuroscience, AFaR, Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Rome, Italy, Department of Neurology, Campus Biomedico, University, Rome, Italy.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Frontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library
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The science, art, or technology dealing with processes involved in the separation of metals from their ores, the technique of making or compounding the alloys, the techniques of working or heat-treating metals, and the mining of metals. It includes industrial metallurgy as well as metallurgical techniques employed in the preparation and working of metals used in dentistry, with special reference to orthodontic and prosthodontic appliances. (From Jablonski, Dictionary of Dentistry, 1992, p494)