Metals in Alzheimer’s Disease

Mirjana Babić Leko, Lea Langer Horvat, Ena Španić Popovački, Klara Zubčić, Patrick R. Hof, Goran Šimić

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The role of metals in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is still debated. Although previous research has linked changes in essential metal homeostasis and exposure to environmental heavy metals to the pathogenesis of AD, more research is needed to determine the relationship between metals and AD. In this review, we included human studies that (1) compared the metal concentrations between AD patients and healthy controls, (2) correlated concentrations of AD cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers with metal concentrations, and (3) used Mendelian randomization (MR) to assess the potential metal contributions to AD risk. Although many studies have examined various metals in dementia patients, understanding the dynamics of metals in these patients remains difficult due to considerable inconsistencies among the results of individual studies. The most consistent findings were for Zn and Cu, with most studies observing a decrease in Zn levels and an increase in Cu levels in AD patients. However, several studies found no such relation. Because few studies have compared metal levels with biomarker levels in the CSF of AD patients, more research of this type is required. Given that MR is revolutionizing epidemiologic research, additional MR studies that include participants from diverse ethnic backgrounds to assess the causal relationship between metals and AD risk are critical.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1161
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mendelian randomization
  • biomarker
  • essential metals
  • heavy metals


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