Abstract
SERUM TRACE ELEMENTS (COPPER, MANGANESE AND ZINC) STATUS OF PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS OF FEDERAL NEUROPSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, ENUGU NIGERIA.

*Ogbu Innocent S. I., Ph.D, Muoghalu Chinelo Vivian, M.Sc., Okeke Nduka John. FCMPath, Okeke Ebele Ijeoma BSc

ABSTRACT

Introduction. Trace elements play major roles in various metabolic pathways and are usually associated with an enzyme or another protein as an essential component or they function as cofactors. Alterations in the optimum levels of trace elements may adversely affect biological processes and are associated with many diseases. A few investigators have reported serum trace element levels in some psychiatric disorders. Aim. In this study, we determined the trace element status of psychiatric patients and the effect of drug treatment. Result. The mean serum copper and manganese of the controls were significantly lower than those of the drug-naïve subject (p< 0.0001) while it showed no significant difference from that of the patients on drugs, (p>0.05). A similar result was obtained for manganese. The mean serum zinc level of the control was higher than that of the drug-naïve patients, (p<0.0001) and almost same as that of the patients on drugs, (p>0.05). Conclusions. Drug-naïve psychiatric patients have elevated mean copper and manganese levels but decreased zinc level while those on drugs have near normal levels of all three elements when compared with control values. Since drugs that relieve symptoms affect the serum levels of these trace elements, one can surmise that these elements play some role in the pathogenesis or pathology of mental disorders. Their routine measurement, therefore may aid in the drug management of mental disorders.

Keywords: psychiatric disorder, trace elements, psychotic drugs, copper, manganese, zinc.


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