Copper may be a trigger of Alzheimer's disease
August 19th, 2013
03:54 PM ET

Copper may be a trigger of Alzheimer's disease

Copper, which is found in anything from drinking water to red meats, may be an environmental trigger of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.

The study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests copper keeps toxic proteins from leaving the brain.

It is clear that, over time, copper impairs the systems through which amyloid beta is removed from the brain, said Rashid Deane, a research professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center  Department of Neurosurgery, member of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine, and lead author of the study.  This causes the protein "to accumulate in the brain and form the plaques that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease."

Copper is usually found in drinking water that is carried by copper pipes.  It is also found in shellfish, meats, nuts and many vegetables and fruits.   The mineral is important for the body because it helps with the development of the nervous system, along with bone growth and hormone secretion.

Researchers looked at the effect of copper-laced drinking water on mice. They used low doses of copper over a three-month period. The dose was 10% of the maximum contaminant level set by the Environment Protection Agency.

"These are very low levels of copper, equivalent to what people would consume in a normal diet." said Deane. "We chose copper in water because it is easily absorbed in the blood."

Even with the low levels of copper, scientists found a buildup of toxic proteins in the brain. The toxic protein is called amyloid beta, which is a component of amyloid plaques that have been previously connected to Alzheimer's disease.

Research conducted using mice doesn't necessarily translate to humans, but study authors found that in both mice and human brain cells, copper exposure prohibited the removal of the harmful protein from the brain. Researchers also found that copper exposure led to a breakdown of the blood- brain barrier, making it easier for copper to get into the brain as well.

"Copper is an essential metal, and it is clear that these effects are due to exposure over a long period of time," said Deane. "The key will be striking the right balance between too little and too much copper consumption. Right now we cannot say what the right level will be, but diet may ultimately play an important role in regulating this process."

Deane says people should know more about copper and its effects.  "Because of what I do, I believe in preventive medicine and practices," notes Deane.  "Copper is essential.  But maybe, just maybe, if we are finding that copper is creating a problem in the brain, we should back off on supplements, look at labels on foods and know how much copper we are putting in our bodies.  We don't need to overdo it."

« Previous entry
soundoff (833 Responses)
  1. SEO Marketing Consultants


    June 24, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Body Repair Shops Near Me

    Howdy! This article couldnít be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he'll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 24, 2021 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Digital Marketing Consultants


    June 24, 2021 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Local Marketing Companies Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Suspension Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 독골사거리역더퍼스트뷰

    Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything
    is existing on web?

    June 24, 2021 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 독골사거리역 더퍼스트뷰

    This excellent website certainly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject
    and didn't know who to ask.

    June 24, 2021 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair Orange County California

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 24, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the site is also very good.


    June 24, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 24, 2021 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Addie Bragan

    How can I choose how many posts shown on my blogger homepage?


    June 24, 2021 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Garden Grove


    June 24, 2021 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Trailer Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    You are so cool! I don't suppose I've read through something like this before. So nice to discover somebody with some original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!


    June 25, 2021 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. motorhome repairs near me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 25, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Air Conditioning Repair Near Me

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Many thanks! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 25, 2021 at 05:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Window Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Great info. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!


    June 25, 2021 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Tory Leadership Election


    June 25, 2021 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Places Near Me

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉


    June 25, 2021 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Near Here


    June 25, 2021 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Ac Repair Near Me

    Excellent post. I definitely love this website. Stick with it!


    June 25, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Nearby RV Repairs


    June 25, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Brake Repair Near Me

    Great web site you have here.. Itís hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 25, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Hiedi Swedlund

    Great information. Lucky me I found your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!


    June 25, 2021 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Hello there! I could have sworn Iíve visited this web site before but after looking at many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely pleased I came across it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    June 25, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Riley Leeson

    I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my own personal blog and want to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    June 25, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Long Gehman


    June 25, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Services Near Me

    Itís difficult to find well-informed people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 25, 2021 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Satellite Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 독골사거리역더퍼스트뷰

    You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I to find
    this topic to be actually one thing which I feel I might by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complicated and very vast for me.
    I'm having a look ahead for your next post, I'll
    attempt to get the grasp of it!

    June 25, 2021 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Laine Hurla


    June 25, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Near My Location

    Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share views. Great site, keep it up!


    June 25, 2021 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Jennette Pequeno


    June 26, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 먹튀검증업체

    I got this website from my friend who told me regarding this website and at the moment this time I am visiting this web
    site and reading very informative articles here.

    June 26, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 05:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Near Me

    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!


    June 26, 2021 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Orange County California


    June 26, 2021 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Fridge Repair Near Me

    https://www.iaai.com/VehicleInspection/InspectionProvidersUrl?name=AA Transit Pros Inspection Service&url=http://www.hedberg.tinnitusvault.com/page/15

    June 26, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Near Me Now

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the internet. I most certainly will recommend this site!


    June 26, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. luminary podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. best podcast

    I was pretty pleased to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff on your site.


    June 26, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Leadership Principles


    June 26, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. happiness podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. bomani jones podcast

    Itís hard to find educated people in this particular subject, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 27, 2021 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Women's Leadership Conference

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing difficulties with your RSS. I donít know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 27, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. armstrong and getty podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 02:32 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.