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Home Industry News Copper exposure ‘could be linked to Alzheimer’s risk’

Copper exposure ‘could be linked to Alzheimer’s risk’

20th August 2013

Long-term copper exposure can increase a person's risk of suffering from Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The study showed that the metal – which is found in water carried by copper pipes, nutritional supplements and foods such as red meat, shellfish, nuts and many fruits and vegetables – is an environmental factor that triggers the onset and enhances the progression of the disease.

Too much exposure to copper can cause the substance to accumulate in the brain, breaking down the blood brain barrier and resulting in a toxic accumulation of the protein amyloid beta.

Since the mineral also plays an important and beneficial role in nerve conduction, bone growth, the formation of connective tissue and hormone secretion, balancing copper intake among the general populace should be seen as an important challenge.

Lead author Dr Rashid Deane, a research professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said: "It is clear that these effects are due to exposure over a long period of time. The key will be striking the right balance between too little and too much copper consumption."

The Alzheimer's Society estimates that dementia affects around 650,000 people in England, with Alzheimer's accounting for around 62 percent of cases.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801627321-ADNFCR

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