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 (834 Responses)
  1. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Globeville

    best i have ever seen!Hello, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.


    April 10, 2021 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Jefferson Park, Denver, CO

    Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up


    April 10, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Lower Highlands, Denver, CO

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!


    April 10, 2021 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Window Washing Service Platt Park, Denver, CO

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful


    April 10, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Golden Triangle, Denver, CO

    this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.


    April 11, 2021 at 05:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Window Cleaning Service South Park Hill, Denver, CO

    this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.


    April 11, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Window Cleaning Service Lower Highlands, Denver, CO

    Impressive! Thanks for the post


    April 11, 2021 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Best Window Washing Service Near Me East Colfax, Denver, CO

    Impressive! Thanks for the post


    April 11, 2021 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Window Washing Service Lower Highlands, Denver, CO

    Impressive! Thanks for the post


    April 11, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. AC Repair Apopka

    carry on, dont stop


    April 14, 2021 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. signature window cleaning denver

    Thanks for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.


    April 15, 2021 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Used Forklift Service Shop California

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this issue. I love all the points you have made.


    April 23, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. realtors around my area


    April 23, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Remodel Los Angeles


    April 23, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. rv slide out repair parts

    May I just say what a comfort to find someone that genuinely knows what they're talking about online. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people must read this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you aren't more popular because you definitely possess the gift.


    April 24, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Fabrication Los Angeles


    April 24, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. window cleaning denver

    Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up.


    April 26, 2021 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Nick's Air Conditioning And Heating Orlando

    Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up


    April 27, 2021 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. realtors nearby


    April 27, 2021 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. window washing denver

    best i have ever seen!Hello, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.


    April 29, 2021 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Loan Consolidation Services

    I really like this post


    April 29, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Eye Glasses Near Me


    May 4, 2021 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. aika online private server source


    May 4, 2021 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Refrigerator California


    May 4, 2021 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. online lifestyle group


    May 5, 2021 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. mobile truck repair service

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your internet site.


    May 5, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Eyeglasses Near Me


    May 5, 2021 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. aika online private servers

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 5, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Eye Doctor Scottsdale

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after browsing through some of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly pleased I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    May 5, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Airgun megastore bb guns for kids

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.


    May 5, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Alignment Los Angeles


    May 5, 2021 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Airgun megastore best bb guns for kids

    Thanks for the information.


    May 5, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. tattoo shops near me


    May 5, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. food truck repair


    May 5, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Vision Centers Near Me

    Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 5, 2021 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. travel trailer repair shop near me


    May 6, 2021 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. mattress near me

    Great site you have here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    May 6, 2021 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. marketing online training


    May 6, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Forklift Parts California

    I'm extremely pleased to discover this site. I need to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you book marked to check out new information on your website.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. dry cleaners near me

    Good information. Lucky me I found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've book marked it for later!


    May 6, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Forklift Extensions Los Angeles

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Used Forklift Repair California

    You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the net. I most certainly will recommend this blog!


    May 6, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Craft Beers Near Me


    May 6, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. landfill near me

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    May 7, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. travel trailers orange county


    May 7, 2021 at 06:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Forklift Maintenance Los Angeles


    May 7, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Beer Tasting Classes

    It’s difficult to find experienced people about this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 7, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Used Forklift Service California


    May 7, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. guns for sale near me


    May 7, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. fiberglass dent repair


    May 7, 2021 at 19:39 | 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.