Iron and Parkinson’s Disease

  • Moussa B. H. Youdim
  • Dorit Ben-Shachar
  • Peter Riederer
Part of the Advances in Research on Neurodegeneration book series (ARN, volume 2)


It is difficult to accept the idea that iron, the most prevalent and most utilized transition metal in the body, could be a hazardous factor for brain function related to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, trauma, and brain ischaemia. Nevertheless, abnormalities of iron metabolism (iron deficiency and iron overload) represent the largest metabolic disorders in medicine (see Lauffer, 1992, for review). Indeed, iron plays a crucial role in some of the most important biochemical processes in the body as well as in some of the most deadly and widespread diseases in the world (Lauffer, 1992; Youdim, 1994). Its role in Parkinson’s disease has not escaped scrutiny since the first observation by Leheremitte et al. (1924), demonstrating a substantial increase of the iron content in Parkinsonian substantia nigra (SN). This has been confirmed repeatedly, for example, in a series of very recent studies which a variety of techniques including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for determination of iron have been used (see Youdim et al., 1993a).


Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neuron Brain Iron Parkinsonian Brain Free Ionic Iron 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moussa B. H. Youdim
  • Dorit Ben-Shachar
  • Peter Riederer

There are no affiliations available

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