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Nutr Rev. 2012 Dec;70(12):679-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00521.x. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Limbic system pathologies associated with deficiencies and excesses of the trace elements iron, zinc, copper, and selenium.

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  • 1Neurofisiología de la Conducta, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Toluca, Estado de México, Mexico.


Deficiencies of nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins, lipids, and trace elements during gestation and early infanthood have strong deleterious effects on the development of the limbic system; these effects may be irreversible, even when adequate supplementation is provided at later developmental stages. Recent advances in the neurochemistry of biometals are increasingly establishing the roles of the trace elements iron, copper, zinc, and selenium in a variety of cell functions and are providing insight into the repercussions of deficiencies and excesses of these elements on the development of the central nervous system, especially the limbic system. The limbic system comprises diverse areas with high metabolic demands and differential storage of iron, copper, zinc, and selenium. This review summarizes available evidence suggesting the involvement of these trace elements in pathological disorders of the limbic system.

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