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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 586365, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/586365
Review Article

Zinc Deficiency and Zinc Therapy Efficacy with Reduction of Serum Free Copper in Alzheimer’s Disease

1Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764, USA

Received 2 July 2013; Accepted 4 September 2013

Academic Editor: Rosanna Squitti

Copyright © 2013 George J. Brewer and Sukhvir Kaur. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We are in the midst of an epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in developed countries. We have postulated that ingestion of inorganic copper from drinking water and taking supplement pills and a high fat diet are major causative factors. Ingestion of inorganic copper can directly raise the blood free copper level. Blood free copper has been shown by the Squitti group to be elevated in AD, to correlate with cognition, and to predict cognition loss. Secondly, we have shown that AD patients are zinc deficient compared to age matched controls. Zinc is important in neuronal protection. We carried out a 6-month small double blind trial of a new zinc formulation on AD patients. We found that in patients 70 years and older, zinc therapy protected against cognition decline compared to placebo controls. We also found that zinc therapy significantly lowered blood free copper levels. So zinc efficacy could be due to restoring neuronal zinc levels, to lowering blood free copper levels, or to both.