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Prog Neurobiol. 2009 Nov;89(3):240-55. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2009.07.009. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Calcium dysregulation in Alzheimer's disease: from mechanisms to therapeutic opportunities.

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Department of Neurology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, School of Medicine, Qingdao University, No. 5 Donghai Middle Road, Qingdao, Shandong Province 266071, China.


Calcium is involved in many facets of neuronal physiology, including activity, growth and differentiation, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory, as well as pathophysiology, including necrosis, apoptosis, and degeneration. Though disturbances in calcium homeostasis in cells from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients have been observed for many years, much more attention was focused on amyloid-beta (Abeta) and tau as key causative factors for the disease. Nevertheless, increasing lines of evidence have recently reported that calcium dysregulation plays a central role in AD pathogenesis. Systemic calcium changes accompany almost the whole brain pathology process that is observed in AD, including synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, presenilins mutation, Abeta production and Tau phosphorylation. Given the early and ubiquitous involvement of calcium dysregulation in AD pathogenesis, it logically presents a variety of potential therapeutic targets for AD prevention and treatment, such as calcium channels in the plasma membrane, calcium channels in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, Abeta-formed calcium channels, calcium-related proteins. The review aims to provide an overview of the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in calcium dysregulation in AD, and an insight on how to exploit calcium regulation as therapeutic opportunities in AD.

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