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Lancet Neurol. 2014 Oct;13(10):1045-60. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70117-6.

The role of iron in brain ageing and neurodegenerative disorders.

Author information

1
Centre for Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration, Department of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Imperial College London, London, UK; Faculte de Science, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
2
Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council of Italy, Segrate, Milan, Italy.
3
Advanced MRI Section, Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
4
Faculte de Science, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
5
Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council of Italy, Segrate, Milan, Italy. Electronic address: luigi.zecca@itb.cnr.it.

Abstract

In the CNS, iron in several proteins is involved in many important processes such as oxygen transportation, oxidative phosphorylation, myelin production, and the synthesis and metabolism of neurotransmitters. Abnormal iron homoeostasis can induce cellular damage through hydroxyl radical production, which can cause the oxidation and modification of lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and DNA. During ageing, different iron complexes accumulate in brain regions associated with motor and cognitive impairment. In various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, changes in iron homoeostasis result in altered cellular iron distribution and accumulation. MRI can often identify these changes, thus providing a potential diagnostic biomarker of neurodegenerative diseases. An important avenue to reduce iron accumulation is the use of iron chelators that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, penetrate cells, and reduce excessive iron accumulation, thereby affording neuroprotection.

PMID:
25231526
PMCID:
PMC5672917
DOI:
10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70117-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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