Chronic Exposure to Toxic Metals as a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Review
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive memory loss, decline of cognitive functions, and, eventually, the inability to communicate or perform daily life tasks. Despite the fact that researchers have made significant progress regarding the etiology of AD in recent years, the environmental risk factors involved in the pathogenesis of the disease still remain unclear. One widely-known hypothesis that deals with environmental risk factors is the biometal dyshomeostasis hypothesis, which claims that the accumulation of toxic metals in the body over time is positively associated with stages of neurodegeneration. While many studies have produced results in support of this hypothesis, others have found no significant relationship between exposure and disease. This review will focus on elucidating contentious areas in the existing body of knowledge surrounding AD by examining the evidence behind the biometal dyshomeostasis hypothesis.