Iron levels in the brain associated with accelerated cognitive decline

Researchers in Australia have found a link between iron levels in the brain and accelerated cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

They measured iron levels in the post-mortem brains of 645 patients with a wide spectrum of neurocognitive impairment who participated in the US-based Memory and Aging Project.

Iron levels were assessed in the inferior temporal, mid frontal, anterior cingulate, and cerebellar regions. Cognitive function was assessed annually as part of the study.

“This is the largest post-mortem study of brain iron in AD,” noted Dr Ashley Bush of the University of Melbourne, Australia. “We examined iron in multiple brain regions in a large cohort across the clinicopathological staging of the disease, with extensive cognitive data collected in the decade prior to death.”