Journal article

Excessive early-life dietary exposure: a potential source of elevated brain iron and a risk factor for Parkinson's disease

Dominic J Hare, Barbara Rita Cardoso, Erika P Raven, Kay L Double, David I Finkelstein, Ewa A Szymlek-Gay, Beverley-Ann Biggs



Iron accumulates gradually in the ageing brain. In Parkinson's disease, iron deposition within the substantia nigra is further increased, contributing to a heightened pro-oxidant environment in dopaminergic neurons. We hypothesise that individuals in high-income countries, where cereals and infant formulae have historically been fortified with iron, experience increased early-life iron exposure that predisposes them to age-related iron accumulation in the brain. Combined with genetic factors that limit iron regulatory capacity and/or dopamine metabolism, this may increase the risk of Parkinson's diseases. We propose to (a) validate a retrospective biomarker of iron exposure in children; (b) ..

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Awarded by National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Ms Claire Thompson for her assistance and discussions when preparing this article. B.R.C. is funded by Science Without Borders (Ciencia sem Fronteiras) Fellowship from the Brazilian Government. E.P.R. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1444316.