Putative biological mechanisms of the effect of iron deficiency on brain biochemistry and behavior

M. B.H. Youdim, D. Ben-Shachar, S. Yehuda, D. A. Levitsky, J. M. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


An animal model of nutritional iron deficiency (ID) is described that demonstrates a reduction of brain nonheme iron. The most prominent feature of ID is the significant and selective diminution of central dopamine neurotransmission resulting from the decreased number of dopamine D2 receptors in the caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens, pituitary, and in all probability the frontal cortex. The consequences of diminished dopaminergic neurotransmission is a modification of dopamine-dependent behaviors and biochemical reactions, the most important of which is the reduction in learning processes. The role of iron in maintaining the homeostasis of normally functioning dopamine neurons and their involvement in cognitive processes cannot be excluded. An interference with iron metabolism at an early age can result in irreversible damage to developing dopamine neurons, with consequences that may manifest themselves in adult life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-617
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress, emphasizes the importance of community building and the importance of philanthropy in a 2016 interview for Library Journal by Executive Editor Meredith Schwartz.4 Hayden sees a need for an increase in private donations to the Library, or as she calls it, “patriotic philanthropy.” Dr. James H. Billington, Hayden’s immediate predecessor, founded the James Madison Council, an advisory group comprised of leaders from the public and private sectors. Hayden cites projects ranging from digitization of collections to the establishment of the Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (funded by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation) as examples of areas of interest for optnetial odnors. Key to ethusccess fo e tibLhraries’ ferftso is “friend-raising,” a term emphasizing the personal relationships that are key to successful and long-lasting philanthropic efforts. Writes Schwartz, “Hayden is fully prepared to use her honeymoon period and the interest generated by her historic appointment to start outreach to theupblicmimediately, evensahseestsCL’sohuseniroderbehind the scenes”(p.22).


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