High levels of iron in the brain indicates you are more likely to develop Alzheimer's, say researchers.
The findings, published in in Nature Communications, suggest it might be possible to arrest the disease using drugs that remove iron from the brain.
"We think that iron is contributing to the disease progression of Alzheimer's disease," says neuroscientist Dr Scott Ayton from the University of Melbourne. "This is strong evidence to base a clinical trial on lowering iron content in the brain to see if that would impart a cognitive benefit."
Ayton says iron was first implicated in Alzheimer's disease in the 1950s, following post mortem studies showing higher iron levels in the brains of those with the disease.
"But there has been debate for a long period of time whether this is important or whether it's just a coincidence," says Ayton.
To help settle this question, Ayton and colleagues studied the link between iron and Alzheimer's disease in three groups of people: 91 people with normal cognition; 144 people with mild cognitive impairment; and 67 people with Alzheimer's disease.
See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/05/20/4238548.htm