Novel zinc-targeted therapeutic options for cognitive decline

Written by Stuart D Portbury, Luz Fernanda Yévenes & Paul A Adlard

Zinc (Zn2+) is an essential metal in the brain, having critical roles in many proteins and cellular pathways, including synaptic plasticity and the normal functioning of long-term potentiation, the in vitro correlate of learning and memory. Importantly, several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, show alterations in Zn2+ metabolism that may be involved in the pathogenesis of these disorders. Therefore, the modulation of Zn2+ levels and/or distribution may prove an important target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. This review aims to evaluate the current efforts directed at therapeutic Zn2+ modulation as it relates to disease-associated cognitive decline.

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