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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Jun;6(6):449-62.

The neurobiology of zinc in health and disease.

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NeuroBio Tex, Inc., 101 Christopher Columbus Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77550, USA.


The use of zinc in medicinal skin cream was mentioned in Egyptian papyri from 2000 BC (for example, the Smith Papyrus), and zinc has apparently been used fairly steadily throughout Roman and modern times (for example, as the American lotion named for its zinc ore, 'Calamine'). It is, therefore, somewhat ironic that zinc is a relatively late addition to the pantheon of signal ions in biology and medicine. However, the number of biological functions, health implications and pharmacological targets that are emerging for zinc indicate that it might turn out to be 'the calcium of the twenty-first century'.

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