a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 597.2 

Guest: Dr. James Connor, Prof. Neuroscience/Anatomy,Penn State Hershey Medical Center

 Topic: Iron relationship to brain disease 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Dietary iron and brain disease...coming up... 

SPOT: The best emergency is one that doesn't happen. The National Emergency Medicine Association. Visit us at www.nemahealth.org. 

NEMA: Iron is essential to many bodily functions, like oxygen transport and energy transfer...but too much iron can be a bad thing, as researchers at Penn State found when looking into its presence in people struck by brain disease. Dr. James Connor is a professor of neuroscience... 

CONNOR: These standard iron-rich areas were accumulating even more iron in diseases...such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis. So we aren't talking about rare diseases here...we're talking about a fairly common group of neurological disorders. So what we set out to do was try to understand how iron is accumulating in the brain in a range of neurological disorders, and we began to look at iron accumulation issues in general, in the aged population.  

NEMA: Dr. Connor and others who did the study believe older folks using iron supplements should stop taking them, unless diagnosed with anemia or poor iron absorption...as research continues into the brain iron deposits, and the relationship of iron to the creation and growth of cancer tumors. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.