Iron Build-up in Brains Associated with Increased Risk of Age-Related Cognitive Decline

New research found in the journal eLife suggests that a build-up of iron in the brain may be associated with cognitive decline. A build-up of iron in the brain can result from aging organisms that experience a breakdown in regulatory mechanisms, increasing oxidative stress causing cell damage.

Researchers believe the mechanism may explain some age-related cognitive decline and contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.


Researchers examined young and aged mice for the study, measuring mitochondrial and cytoplasmic iron as the animals aged. The expression of genes associated with iron homeostasis was analyzed, and it was found that gene coding for a peptide hormone, called hepcidin, was dramatically upregulated in the brain cortex of older animals.

The brain-derived hepcidin’s most important function is the inhibition of ferroportin, a protein that exports iron from the neuronal cells, leading to marked iron accumulation in the aged brain. Researchers believe this is a critical player in iron accumulation in the aging brain.

Another theory is that an increase in hepcidin may increase iron in the mitochondria, leading to a build-up of iron and eventual cell damage.

There are currently ongoing studies using iron chelators (substances that bind to iron and make it biologically unavailable) to treat coronary artery disease. Scientists believe a similar strategy could be used in the brain as well for age-related cognitive decline. Exploring this possible therapy is the next step for researchers.

Brain Function


While iron levels in the brain can contribute to cognitive decline, numerous factors can take a toll on the ability of the brain to function at peak potential. Every factor can affect memory, concentration, and overall cognitive function.

The effects of normal aging can also play a role in how the brain works, so it is vital to get the proper vitamins and nutrients that can help support brain function through aging.

The Smart Pill contains a unique formula of 9 ingredients that can help to support, nourish, and maximize cognitive function and brain health. This includes ginkgo Biloba, huperzine A, bacopa extract, rosemary extract, and a B vitamin complex. These carefully selected ingredients allow The Smart Pill to help boost circulation and fight free radicals.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.