True cause of Alzheimer’s may have a link to iron in the brain

If future research finds iron and its redox changes indeed cause cell death in Alzheimer’s patients, those findings could facilitate a potential new strategy for drug development. Photo: Pexels

(John Anderer/ Study Finds) — Modern medicine has long believed that the abnormal buildup of amyloid beta plaque in the brain is likely the main cause of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. However, more and more evidence in recent years suggests that iron in the brain may play a significant role in Alzheimer’s disease development as well.

Now, for the first time ever, a new study is revealing that within the very same regions of the brain where the amyloid beta plaques linked to Alzheimer’s gather, there is also an increase in iron redox. That means the iron in these regions is more reactive when in the presence of oxygen.

The research team, including scientists from both The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believe their findings may produce even more details regarding the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s, as well as aid in the search for new drugs to treat the neurodegenerative disease. (…)