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Toxic metal exposure (e.g. Hg, Pb, As) exposure is known to induce significant adverse effects on human brain function. The aim this study was to assess toxic metal body-burden in relation to potential brain dysfunction in patients diagnosed with neurological disorders (NDs). The Liberty Institutional Review Board (Deland, FL) approved the present study. Quantitative, fractionated, random urinary porphyrin testing (µg/L) from the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act/Amendment (CLIA)-approved Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) and cortical perfusion index (CPi) values from single-photon-emission-computed-tomography (SPECT) brain scans were employed to evaluate a prospective cohort of qualifying patients with diagnosed NDs (n=52) presenting for medical care at an endocrinology practice in the Cincinnati, OH area. Patients with more severe in comparison to mild brain dysfunction had significant increases in the mean urinary concentration of uroporphyrins (uP), coproporphyrins I (cP I), and total cP (cP I + III), as well as a trend towards significantly increased mean urinary concentration of pentacarboxyporphyins (5cxP) and cP III. A significant positive correlation between Hg body-burden associated porphyrins (5cxP + cP I + cP III) and increased brain dysfunction was observed. The present study associated brain dysfunction with Hg body-burden in a cohort of patients diagnosed with NDs, but the contributions of other heavy metals or genetic factors cannot be ruled-out. Additional studies should be conducted to evaluate the consistency of the present findings with examinations of other populations.

Citation

David A Geier, Harold T Pretorius, Nicole M Richards, Mark R Geier. A quantitative evaluation of brain dysfunction and body-burden of toxic metals. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research. 2012 Jul;18(7):CR425-31

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PMID: 22739732

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