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Redox-active iron is a sensor of cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease
Date:4/4/2008

April 4, 2008 -- An innovative discovery has been reported that highlights the problems that oxidative stress resulting from iron cumulated in the human brain can generate in relation with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the brain disorder affecting almost 30 million throughout the world. The results of research carried out by Drs. Manuel Lavados, Patricio Fuentes and Leonel Rojo from the laboratory of Professor Dr. R.B. Maccioni of the School of Medicine of the University of Chile, and the International Center for Biomedicine, together with his colleagues, appeared recently in Volume 13, Issue 2 of the prestigious Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (JAD). For several decades this laboratory has been acknowledged as one of the main world contributors to our understanding of AD and the development of tools for its early diagnosis.

The study focuses on the reactivity of iron in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and its correlation with the severity of cognitive decline in both patients with AD and subjects diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Different stages of cognitive and functional impairment are associated with changes in CSF reactive iron. CSF samples from 56 seniors classified into 4 groups according to their scores on the Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR) were compared in respect to the levels of a particular form of iron, the redox-active iron.

Interestingly, redox-active iron levels in the CSF increased with the degree of cognitive impairment from normal to MCI subjects, while AD patients showed an abrupt decrease to levels close to zero. However, no difference in the total CSF iron was found between the different groups. Given the relevance of oxidative damage in neurodegeneration occuring during the course of dementia, the development of cognitive and functional decline appears to be associated with the presence of redox-active iron in the CSF. The abrupt decrease in redox-active iron found in patients affecte
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Contact: Astrid Engelen
a.engelen@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert

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