Zinc and the cytoskeleton in neuronal signaling

Gerardo G. Mackenzie, Patricia I Oteiza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Zinc is essential for the normal development and function of the nervous system. In humans, and depending on the developmental stage, zinc deficiency affects infant behavior, cognition, and motor performance [1-6]. In this regard, low plasma zinc values were found to be associated with altered cognition and emotional functioning in three rural communities of low-income 3- to 5-year-old children in the United States [7] and with pregnancy complications and altered child psychomotor development in a population from central Russia [8]. Low plasma zinc concentrations are also correlated with the occurrence of inattentive symptoms in children with attention/hyperactivity disorder [9]. Stressing the relevance of an adequate zinc nutrition for normal brain physiology, several studies have shown that zinc supplementation of undernourished children improves developmental quotients, activity patterns, and neuropsychological functions [2,3,6,10-12]. Given these data and the fact that the risk for zinc undernutrition is high throughout the world [13,14], the potential deleterious impact of zinc deficiency on brain development and function has to be considered of significant health concern in human populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicronutrients and Brain Health
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781420073522
ISBN (Print)9781420073515
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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