Iron, Myelin, and the Brain: Neuroimaging Meets Neurobiology

Harald E. Möller, Lucia Bossoni, James R. Connor, Robert R. Crichton, Mark D. Does, Roberta J. Ward, Luigi Zecca, Fabio A. Zucca, Itamar Ronen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Although iron is crucial for neuronal functioning, many aspects of cerebral iron biology await clarification. The ability to quantify specific iron forms in the living brain would open new avenues for diagnosis, therapeutic monitoring, and understanding pathogenesis of diseases. A modality that allows assessment of brain tissue composition in vivo, in particular of iron deposits or myelin content on a submillimeter spatial scale, is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Multimodal strategies combining MRI with complementary analytical techniques ex vivo have emerged, which may lead to improved specificity. Interdisciplinary collaborations will be key to advance beyond simple correlative analyses in the biological interpretation of MRI data and to gain deeper insights into key factors leading to iron accumulation and/or redistribution associated with neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-401
Number of pages18
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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