Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

FSU scientist links iron imbalance to Parkinson’s disease

14.10.2004


You might want to toss those iron-fortified vitamins, because absent a diagnosed deficiency too much of a good thing can be bad.



Dietary iron imbalances either way spell trouble for healthy cells, triggering a chain of cellular events in the brain that increases the odds of developing Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative condition affecting movement and balance in more than 1 million Americans each year. But excessive iron levels are worse -- much worse.

The findings from a study by Florida State University scientist Cathy Levenson are described in "The Role of Dietary Iron Restrictions in a Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease" and will appear in an upcoming edition of Experimental Neurology. Levenson is an associate professor of nutrition, food and exercise sciences in FSU’s College of Human Sciences and a faculty member in both the Program in Neuroscience and graduate program in molecular biophysics. "We define our work here at the cellular level," said Levenson from her laboratory at FSU’s Biomedical Research Facility. "Our primary research objective is to better understand how trace metal imbalances, which are associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, affect the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression."


Levenson performed the mouse model portion of the study in collaboration with Mark Mattson, Laboratory of Neurosciences chief at the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Md. Mice were fed varying amounts of iron to determine levels that precipitated onset or hastened the progression of Parkinson’s-like symptoms such as tremors and balance problems, both in healthy rodents and where risk factors existed. High levels of iron caused Parkinson’s-like symptoms even in healthy mice without apparent risk factors for the illness, while accelerating the decline and death of those already diagnosed with the disease.

In contrast, low levels of iron delayed onset of Parkinson’s in mice with risk factors and slowed progress of the disease in those already infected. But the low iron news was mixed. Levenson also discovered that iron deficiencies in healthy risk-free rodents led to decreasing levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter critical to relaying brain messages that control both balance and movement. Dopamine levels fall as the brain cells or "neurons" responsible for transporting it begin to "commit suicide" at higher-than normal-rates, triggering the chain of events that eventually precipitates the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

The study confirms that both iron deficiency and toxicity are linked to the specific genes and neuronal suicide that lead to dopamine shortages responsible for development of Parkinson’s. Yet while low levels of iron then delay the onset of the disease once the neurological stage is set or slow the degenerative progress, iron toxicity both precipitates Parkinson’s symptoms and hastens decline and death in existing victims.

Until further studies determine optimal levels of the essential nutrient, Levenson advises health-conscious consumers without doctors’ orders to forego the mineral in tablet form in favor of natural dietary sources like red meats, dried fruits, dark leafy greens, tofu, cooked dried beans or wheat germ. "I’d be nervous about just handing someone iron supplements and saying ’have at it," she said. "Self-medicating may have unintended consequences."

Cathy Levenson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Observing the cell's protein factories during self-assembly
15.06.2018 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht Scientists unravel molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease
13.06.2018 | The Francis Crick Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>