The neuropsychiatry of brain iron

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1993 Winter;5(1):18-29. doi: 10.1176/jnp.5.1.18.


In the last two decades, many biological functions of iron have been identified, in particular its role in many enzymatic processes, its effect on dopamine D2 receptor function, its interaction with other neurotransmitters (gamma-aminobutyric acid, serotonin, opiate-peptides), and its catalytic role in the nonenzymatic mechanisms for oxidation, hydroxylation, and peroxidation reactions. The role of iron in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, brain injury due to exogenous causes, neuroleptic-induced movement disorders, schizophrenia, and other neuropsychiatric disorders is currently being explored. This study summarizes current understanding of the anatomy and physiology of brain iron with special reference to these disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / analysis
  • Iron / blood
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Radiography
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Iron