Homeostasis of metals in the progression of Alzheimer's disease

Biometals. 2014 Jun;27(3):539-49. doi: 10.1007/s10534-014-9728-5. Epub 2014 Mar 26.


In order to study the involvement of metals in the progression of Alzheimer's disease, serum samples from patients with Alzheimer and mild cognitive impairment were investigated. For this purpose, metal content was analyzed after size-fractionation of species and then, inter-element and inter-fraction ratios were computed. In this way, the analysis allowed discovering changes that could be used as markers of disease, but also provided a new insight into the interactions in the homeostasis of elements in neurodegeneration and its progression. Aluminum and labile forms of iron and copper were increased in demented patients, while manganese, zinc and selenium were reduced. Interestingly, levels of different elements, principally iron, aluminum and manganese, were closely inter-related, which could evidence a complex interdependency between the homeostasis of the different metals in this disorder. On the other hand, imbalances in metabolism of copper, zinc and selenium could be associated to abnormal redox status. Therefore, this study may contribute to our understanding of the pathological mechanisms related to metals in Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aluminum / blood
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / blood*
  • Copper / blood
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Male
  • Manganese / blood
  • Selenium / blood
  • Zinc / blood


  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Zinc