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1- 1Neuroscience Research Centre, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2- Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3- Neuroscience Research Centre, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences
Aim: Altered serum profile of several trace elements have been reported in schizophrenia. This study was designed to elucidate if the serum level of copper (Cu) and magnesium (Mg), two essential trace elements with an established contribution in neurotransmitter transmission, is altered in schizophrenics and if there is any interrelation between cognitive functioning and serum levels of Cu and Mg.
Methods: Sixty patients with schizophrenia and 30 healthy controls participated in this study. Patient group was divided into: i) early patients (N = 35, equal or less than 5 years of illness initiation), and ii) chronic (N = 25, more than 5 years of illness duration). The serum levels of Cu and Mg were measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy and ion selective electrode potentiometry, respectively. A Persian adaptation of the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) was administered to assess cognitive abilities.
Results: The results showed significantly higher serum Cu level in both patient groups than controls, whereas no significant difference was observed among groups for Mg. While healthy individuals’ serum Cu profile demonstrated negative correlation with working memory and executive function, no significant correlation was observed between Cu serum levels of patients and BACS cognitive domains.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the high Cu serum concentration might play a role in cognitive decline in healthy individuals, but as cognition is severely impaired in schizophrenics no significant correlation was seen in the patients.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2019/10/7 | Accepted: 2020/04/13 | Published: 2018/03/15

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