Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 7 September 2005
Vol. 2005, Issue 36, p. pe27
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2005.36.pe27]


Metals on the Brain

Carina Treiber

The author is at the Free University of Berlin, Thielallee 63, 14195 Berlin, Germany. E-mail: treiber{at}

Key Words: zinc • metals • Alzheimer's disease • prion disease

Abstract: Current research suggests that imbalances in metal-ion homeostasis play a critical role in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, and in cancer. It is thus important to elucidate the mechanisms by which homeostasis is maintained and how metals function in cellular processes, including cell signaling, neurotransmission, and protein transport and storage. This summary of a meeting recently held in Barcelona, Spain, highlights some of the latest findings on intra- and extracellular zinc signaling, the consequences of zinc imbalances on cells and on the brain, the mechanisms of metal-ion influx and efflux, how metal ions are sequestered by metallothioneins, and the development of candidate drugs to treat brain injury due to metal-ion imbalances.

Citation: C. Treiber, Metals on the Brain. Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2005 (36), pe27 (2005).

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