Zinc and the aging brain

Abstract

Alterations in trace element homeostasis could be involved in the pathology of dementia, and in particular of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Zinc is a structural or functional component of many proteins, being involved in numerous and relevant physiological functions. Zinc homeostasis is affected in the elderly, and current evidence points to alterations in the cellular and systemic distribution of zinc in AD. Although the association of zinc and other metals with AD pathology remains unclear, therapeutic approaches designed to restore trace element homeostasis are being tested in clinical trials. Not only could zinc supplementation potentially benefit individuals with AD, but zinc supplementation also improves glycemic control in the elderly suffering from diabetes mellitus. However, the findings that select genetic polymorphisms may alter an individual’s zinc intake requirements should be taken into consideration when planning zinc supplementation. This review will focus on current knowledge regarding pathological and protective mechanisms involving brain zinc in AD to highlight areas where future research may enable development of new and improved therapies.

DOI: 10.1007/s12263-013-0379-x

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@article{Nuttall2013ZincAT, title={Zinc and the aging brain}, author={Johnathan R. Nuttall and Patricia I Oteiza}, journal={Genes & Nutrition}, year={2013}, volume={9}, pages={1-11} }