Metal ions appear to play an important role in several neurodegenerative (ND) diseases. Evidence suggests that metal ions bind directly to causative amyloidogenic proteins and modulate their aggregation into amyloids, considered to be a key event in the etiology of ND diseases. Apart from this well-documented binding of essential metals to amyloidogenic proteins, other, non-essential metal ions have been considered to be environmental hazards for neuronal disorders, but tight causative relations have yet to be established. The present article provides a review of the potential role of manganese, lead, and mercury as environmental risk factors in ND diseases, and covers in detail environmental availability of these metals, their uptake and distribution in the body and cells, and their role in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Prion diseases.
Charlet, L., Chapron, Y., Faller, P., Kirsch, R., Stone, A. T., & Baveye, P. C. (2012). Neurodegenerative diseases and exposure to the environmental metals Mn, Pb, and Hg. Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 26(19-20), 2147-2163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2012.05.012