Alzheimer's disease, metal ions and metal homeostatic therapy

Paolo Zatta, Denise Drago, Silvia Bolognin, Stefano L. Sensi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mounting evidences support the idea that endogenous 'biometals', such as copper, iron, zinc and exogenous ones such as aluminum, can be involved as factors or cofactors in the etiopathogenesis of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifactorial neurodegenerative condition associated with pathological accumulation of amyloid plaques and with the appearance of deposit of neurofibrillary tangles. In AD, the process of β-amyloid (Aβ) misfolding and plaque aggregation is greatly influenced by alterations in the homeostasis of the aforementioned metal ions. Here, we discuss the most recent evidences that associate metal ion dyshomeostasis with the development of AD. As for aluminum, a role for this ion in AD pathogenesis is still controversial. Thus, here, we also critically review new findings that argue for and against the 'aluminum hypothesis'. Finally, it is discussed how therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring metal homeostasis can delay and modify the progression of AD-related neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-355
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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