Serum zinc is decreased in Alzheimer's disease and serum arsenic correlates positively with cognitive ability

Biometals. 2010 Feb;23(1):173-9. doi: 10.1007/s10534-009-9277-5. Epub 2009 Nov 13.


Zinc, copper, and iron aggregate Abeta and accumulate in Alzheimer's disease (AD) plaques. Some metals are increased in AD vs. control serum. The authors examined levels of 12 metals in serum of 44 AD and 41 control subjects. Zinc decreased from 12.3 to 10.9 micromol/L (means, p = 0.0007). Arsenic positively correlated with Mini-Mental State Examination score (p < 0.0001). Zinc deposition in brain amyloid might deplete zinc from other body compartments, such as serum. The arsenic correlation might be caused by the major contribution of seafood consumption to intake of both arsenic and docosahexaenoic acid, of which the latter may delay AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Arsenic / blood*
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Zinc / blood*


  • Zinc
  • Arsenic