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. RV Plumbing California


    May 26, 2021 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Bay Doors Near Me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own website now 😉


    May 26, 2021 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Sound System California


    May 26, 2021 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. upholstery shop near me

    After checking out a few of the blog posts on your web page, I seriously like your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website too and tell me what you think.


    May 26, 2021 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. vinyl repair near me


    May 26, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Body Repair San Diego


    May 26, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Mechanics Los Angeles


    May 26, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Interior Remodeling Riverside


    May 26, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Body Shop Riverside


    May 26, 2021 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Supplies Orange County


    May 26, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Plumbing Los Angeles


    May 26, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rv replacement parts near me


    May 27, 2021 at 03:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Trevor Junior

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the website is extremely good.


    May 27, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Slide Out California

    Good blog post. I definitely love this website. Keep it up!


    May 27, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. esurance rv insurance

    Very good article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 27, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. toy haulers california

    I really like reading an article that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    May 27, 2021 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. camper mechanics near me


    May 27, 2021 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Upgrades Near Me

    You are so cool! I do not suppose I've read through something like this before. So nice to find someone with some unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!


    May 27, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. horse trailers in california


    May 27, 2021 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Interior Designer Los Angeles


    May 27, 2021 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. california horse trailers

    I truly love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own blog and would like to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Cheers!


    May 27, 2021 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. custom fleet and auto body

    Great article. I will be experiencing a few of these issues as well..


    May 28, 2021 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. national interstate rv insurance


    May 28, 2021 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Milan Leite

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs


    May 28, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Mechanics Riverside

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 28, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Lighting Los Angeles


    May 28, 2021 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Bay Doors Riverside

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a really good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get anything done.


    May 28, 2021 at 07:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    I love reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    May 28, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Internet Marketing Consultant

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this page.


    May 28, 2021 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Blinds Los Angeles

    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    May 28, 2021 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Social Media Marketing Specialist

    May I just say what a comfort to discover an individual who truly understands what they are talking about on the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to check this out and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you are not more popular because you most certainly have the gift.


    May 28, 2021 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Bay Doors Orange County


    May 28, 2021 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. where is an auto parts store near me


    May 28, 2021 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Beds Orange County

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.


    May 28, 2021 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rv interior upgrades


    May 28, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Entertainment System Riverside

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 28, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. rv countertop remodel


    May 28, 2021 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv repair close to me

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after looking at a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    May 28, 2021 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. rv furniture san diego

    You are so interesting! I don't believe I've read something like this before. So wonderful to find someone with some genuine thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that's needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    May 28, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Nolan Felde

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs


    May 29, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Freight Liner Truck Repair Shop

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your website.


    May 29, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Van Repair Shop Near Me


    May 29, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Social Media Marketing Consultants


    May 29, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Transport Van Repair Shop Near Me


    May 29, 2021 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Rv Maintenance Shop Near Me

    Wonderful article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    May 29, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Nissan High Top Van Repair Shop Near Me


    May 29, 2021 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. loose leaf tea subscriptions

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


    May 30, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Box Truck Collision Repair Shop


    May 30, 2021 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. tea spring

    thanks for sharing!


    May 30, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. stormguardians4u.com

    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


    May 30, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply to rv repair


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.