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Am J Clin Pathol. 2004 Jun;121 Suppl:S64-70.

Iron and brain disorders.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98104, USA.


Iron is the most important element in the body, essential for almost all types of cells, including brain cells. The role of iron in the brain has been known for years. Iron deficiency and iron excess have been associated with pathophysiology of different brain disorders. Iron deficiency has been reported to have a role in brain development and the pathophysiology of restless legs syndrome. Iron accumulation has been related to some neurologic disorders such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, type I neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation, and other disorders. Despite years of investigation, the reason for iron imbalance in the brain is not known. It also is not known whether the accumulation of iron in the brain is primary or secondary to development of neurodegenerative disorders. This review summarizes the present knowledge on the role of iron in human brain disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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