Serum zinc in the progression of Alzheimer's disease

Jiang Dong, J. David Robertson, William R. Markesbery, Mark A. Lovell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Previous studies show significantly decreased levels of zinc transporter 1 (ZnT-1) in the brain of subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but significantly increased ZnT-1 in late stage AD (LAD). However, the reason for the apparent dichotomy is unclear. Based on in vivo studies that show animals provided a zinc (Zn) deficient diet demonstrate decreased brain ZnT-1, we used inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to quantify serum Zn levels from 18 living mild to moderate AD patients (9 men, 9 women), 19 MCI patients (9 men, 10 women) and 16 age-matched normal control (NC) subjects (9 men, 7 women). Zinc levels for all subjects were not significantly different among any of the three subject groups. However, there was a statistically significant decrease of serum Zn (11.7 ± 0.5 μM) in men with MCI compared to women with MCI (13.7 ± 0.6 μM) and NC men (13.9 ± 0.6 μM). Serum Zn levels in probable AD patients were comparable to those in NC subjects. Overall, these data suggest a significant decrease of serum Zn in men with MCI, may explain the loss of ZnT-1 observed in previous studies and suggest there may be more pronounced sex differences in MCI than were previously recognized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-450
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Serum
  • Zinc
  • Zinc transporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum zinc in the progression of Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this