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J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;46(1):89-92. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150186.

Zinc and Copper in Alzheimer's Disease.

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Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.


In a recent meta-analysis by Ventriglia and colleagues studying the association of zinc levels with Alzheimer's disease (AD), serum zinc has been found significantly decreased in AD patients compared with healthy controls. However, such a finding does not necessarily propose the causal role of low zinc in the pathophysiology of this neurodegenerative disease. On the basis of available evidence, free copper toxicosis may play a causal role in age-related AD, and zinc therapy can be a rational causal treatment. Nevertheless, a randomized controlled clinical trial testing a definite hypothesis is needed before conclusions can be drawn about the value of zinc supplements in the treatment of AD.


Alzheimer’s disease; Wilson’s disease; ceruloplasmin; copper; free copper; metallothionein; neurodegeneration; underreporting; zinc

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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