Neuronal calcium mishandling and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease

Trends Neurosci. 2008 Sep;31(9):454-63. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jul 31.


Perturbed neuronal Ca(2+) homeostasis is implicated in age-related cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease (AD). With advancing age, neurons encounter increased oxidative stress and impaired energy metabolism, which compromise the function of proteins that control membrane excitability and subcellular Ca(2+) dynamics. Toxic forms of amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) can induce Ca(2+) influx into neurons by inducing membrane-associated oxidative stress or by forming an oligomeric pore in the membrane, thereby rendering neurons vulnerable to excitotoxicity and apoptosis. AD-causing mutations in the beta-amyloid precursor protein and presenilins can compromise these normal proteins in the plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum, respectively. Emerging knowledge of the actions of Ca(2+) upstream and downstream of Abeta provides opportunities to develop novel preventative and therapeutic interventions for AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Presenilins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapses / pathology


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Presenilins
  • Calcium