Metals play important roles in the human body, maintaining cell structure and regulating gene expression, neurotransmission, and antioxidant response, to name a few. However, excessive metal accumulation in the nervous system may be toxic, inducing oxidative stress, disrupting mitochondrial function, and impairing the activity of numerous enzymes. Damage caused by metal accumulation may result in permanent injuries, including severe neurological disorders. Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown a strong correlation between aberrant metal exposure and a number of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism spectrum disorders, Guillain-Barré disease, Gulf War syndrome, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Wilson's disease. Here, we briefly survey the literature relating to the role of metals in neurodegeneration.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Huntington’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; metal accumulation; neurodegeneration; neurological disorders.