Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
New targeted therapies and diagnostic methods for iron overload diseases
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Millions of people worldwide suffer from iron overload toxicity diseases such as transfusional iron overload in thalassaemia and hereditary haemochromatosis. The accumulation and presence of toxic focal iron deposits causing tissue damage can also be identified in Friedreich’s ataxia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, renal and other diseases. Different diagnostic criteria of toxicity and therapeutic interventions apply to each disease of excess or misplaced iron. Magnetic resonance imaging relaxation times T2 and T2* for monitoring iron deposits in organs and iron biomarkers such as serum ferritin and transferrin iron saturation have contributed in the elucidation of iron toxicity mechanisms and pathways, and also the evaluation of the efficacy and mode of action of chelating drugs in the treatment of diseases related to iron overload, toxicity and metabolism. Similarly, histopathological and electron microscopy diagnostic methods have revealed mechanisms of iron overload toxicity at cellular and sub-cellular levels. These new diagnostic criteria and chelator dose adjustments could apply in different or special patient categories e.g. thalassaemia patients with normal iron stores, where iron deficiency and over-chelation toxicity should be avoided.