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Multilevel Impacts of Iron in the Brain: The Cross Talk between Neurophysiological Mechanisms, Cognition, and Social Behavior

Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais (CICS.NOVA), Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH), 1069-061 Lisbon, Portugal
School of Business and Economics, NOVA University of Lisbon, 2775-405 Lisbon, Portugal
Chronic Diseases Research Center (CEDOC)/NOVA Medical School, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1180-052, 1150-082 Lisbon, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(3), 126;
Received: 5 August 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 27 August 2019 / Published: 29 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
Iron is a critical element for most organisms, which plays a fundamental role in the great majority of physiological processes. So much so, that disruption of iron homeostasis has severe multi-organ impacts with the brain being particularly sensitive to such modifications. More specifically, disruption of iron homeostasis in the brain can affect neurophysiological mechanisms, cognition, and social behavior, which eventually contributes to the development of a diverse set of neuro-pathologies. This article starts by exploring the mechanisms of iron action in the brain and follows with a discussion on cognitive and behavioral implications of iron deficiency and overload and how these are framed by the social context. Subsequently, we scrutinize the implications of the disruption of iron homeostasis for the onset and progression of psychosocial disorders. Lastly, we discuss the links between biological, psychological, and social dimensions and outline potential avenues of research. The study of these interactions could ultimately contribute to a broader understanding of how individuals think and act under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron; brain; neurophysiology; cognition; social behavior iron; brain; neurophysiology; cognition; social behavior
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Ferreira, A.; Neves, P.; Gozzelino, R. Multilevel Impacts of Iron in the Brain: The Cross Talk between Neurophysiological Mechanisms, Cognition, and Social Behavior. Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12, 126.

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