For almost 20 years Gerd Multhaup and Thomas Bayer have been investigating the role of copper in Alzheimer’s disease. Copper is an essential trace element present in all foods, especially in meat and grain products. It is vital to the human body. In their research Multhaup and Bayer turned their attention to the key molecule, amyloid precursor protein (APP) that plays a major role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. On the one hand APP is the precursor of disease-causing amyloid. On the other hand, APP binds copper and transports it on its way through the cell. Through numerous experiments, Multhaup and Bayer were able to ascertain that copper does not accelerate Alzheimer’s disease, but rather that, on the contrary, in Alzheimer’s patients, there is a copper deficiency.
The research findings of Multhaup and Bayer were the basis for a clinical study made of Alzheimer’s patients at the University of the Saarland in Homburg/Saar. In this study it was demonstrated that treating Alzheimer’s patients with copper has a hoped-for positive effect due to copper’s effect on the amount of amyloid in the body.
Multhaup’s and Bayer’s next studies are designed to identify the patients’ copper level in early stages of the disease and to ensure that copper is readily available in sufficient quantities in the body.