Alteration of peripheral markers of copper homeostasis in Alzheimer's disease patients: implications in aetiology and therapy.J Nutr Health Aging 2007 Sep-Oct; 11(5):408-17JN
Alzheimer's disease represents a growing health problem because of the ongoing increase in life expectancy. Therefore understanding the molecular alterations responsible for neurodegeneration has become imperative in order to develop efficient strategies for the therapy. Mounting evidence suggests that the essential metal ion copper is intriguingly connected with the established molecular markers of Alzheimer's disease and that copper homeostasis is disturbed in affected individuals, leading to oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. This review summarizes the mechanisms of copper trafficking in cells and describes the relationship between copper, the amyloid precursor protein and beta-amyloid. Since one of the main goals of the research on Alzheimer's disease is the identification of blood markers to aid diagnosis and monitor the effects of therapeutic approaches, the results obtained in a series of studies on copper in the blood of Alzheimer's disease patients recently carried out in our laboratories are described.