Iron, brain ageing and neurodegenerative disorders

Luigi Zecca, Moussa B.H. Youdim, Peter Riederer, James Connor, Robert R. Crichton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1177 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence that iron is involved in the mechanisms that underlie many neurodegenerative diseases. Conditions such as neuroferritinopathy and Friedreich ataxia are associated with mutations in genes that encode proteins that are involved in iron metabolism, and as the brain ages, iron accumulates in regions that are affected by Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. High concentrations of reactive iron can increase oxidative-stress induced neuronal vulnerability, and iron accumulation might increase the toxicity of environmental or endogenous toxins. By studying the accumulation and cellular distribution of iron during ageing, we should be able to increase our understanding of these neurodegenerative disorders and develop new therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-873
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Zecca, L., Youdim, M. B. H., Riederer, P., Connor, J., & Crichton, R. R. (2004). Iron, brain ageing and neurodegenerative disorders. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5(11), 863-873.