The aging brain: impact of heavy metal neurotoxicity

Omamuyovwi M. Ijomone, Chibuzor W. Ifenatuoha, Oritoke M. Aluko, Olayemi K. Ijomone, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The aging process is accompanied by critical changes in cellular and molecular functions, which upset the homeostatic balance in the central nervous system. Accumulation of metals renders the brain susceptible to neurotoxic insults by mechanisms such as mitochondrial dysfunction, neuronal calcium-ion dyshomeostasis, buildup of damaged molecules, compromised DNA repair, reduction in neurogenesis, and impaired energy metabolism. These hallmarks have been identified to be responsible for neuronal injuries, resulting in several neurological disorders. Various studies have shown solid associations between metal accumulation, abnormal protein expressions, and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This review highlights metals (such as manganese, zinc, iron, copper, and nickel) for their accumulation, and consequences in the development of neurological disorders, in relation to the aging brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-814
Number of pages14
JournalCritical reviews in toxicology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2020


  • DNA damage oxidative stress
  • Neurotoxicity
  • aging
  • brain diseases
  • metal accumulation
  • mitochondrial dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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