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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2007 Apr;11(2):128-33. Epub 2007 Feb 14.

Copper and Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia. pauld@unimelb.edu.au


Copper is essential for some of the enzymes that have a role in brain metabolism. Sophisticated mechanisms balance copper import and export to ensure proper nutrient levels (homeostasis) while minimizing toxic effects. Several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by modified copper homeostasis. This change seems to contribute either directly or indirectly to increased oxidative stress, an important factor in neuronal toxicity. When coupled to misfolded proteins, this modified copper homeostasis appears to be an important factor in the pathological progression of AD.

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