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Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine

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Homocysteine, trace elements and oxidant/antioxidant status in mild cognitively impaired elderly persons: a cross-sectional study

Hajar Negahdar / Seyed Reza Hosseini
  • Social Determinant of Health Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
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/ Hadi Parsian
  • Corresponding author
  • Social Determinant of Health Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
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/ Farzan Kheirkhah
  • Social Determinant of Health Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
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/ Abbas Mosapour / Soraya Khafri
  • Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
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/ Asefeh Hagh Haghighi
Published Online: 2015-12-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rjim-2015-0043


Introduction. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the prodromal stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), so identification of the related risk factors can be helpful. There are controversial data regarding the serum oxidant/antioxidant status, trace elements and homocysteine (Hcy) as effective parameters in this disease, therefore the status of these factors was determined in this study.

Methods. One hundred-twenty elderly persons with cognitive impairment and 120 elderly healthy persons who were differentiated using Mini-mental state examination (MMSE) participated in this study. The patients were divided into mild and moderate-to-severe cognitive impairment group. Serum antioxidant/oxidant, copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and Hcy concentrations were measured using routine methods.

Results. Oxidant and antioxidant levels increased and decreased based on the severity of the disease and were higher and lower in patients than in control group, respectively (p<0.001). With adjusting for age, gender and education, significant difference in Hcy levels was not observed. There was no significant difference in trace elements levels among groups.

Conclusions. Results confirmed the association between oxidative damage with increasing the severity of cognitive impairment. These factors may be involved in the etiology of cognitive impairment and AD. Identification of such biomarkers is important to select appropriate treatment goals before the onset of irreversible clinical signs.

Introducere. Disfuncţia uşoară cognitivă (MCI) este stadiul prodromal al bolii Alzheimer (AD) aşadar identificarea factorilor de risc poate fi utilă. În literatură sunt date controversate legate de statusul antioxidant seric, micro-nutrienţi şi homocisteina (HCy) drept parametrii de analizat în AD aşadar aceşti factori au fost determinaţi în acest studiu.

Materiale şi metode. Au fost recrutaţi 120 de pacienţi vârstnici cu disfuncţie cognitivă şi 120 de pacienţi vârstnici sănătoşi. Acestora le-a fost administrat Mini-mental state examination (MMSE) şi pacienţii cu disfuncţie cognitivă au fost împărţiţi în grup cu disfuncţie uşoară şi disfuncţie moderat severă. Au fost analizate nivelurile serice ale cuprului, ale manganului, zincului, Hcy precum şi statusul antioxidant seric.

Rezultate. Nivelurile oxidanţilor au fost mai mari la pacienţii cu disfuncţie cognitivă, iar nivelurile antioxidanţilor au fost semnificativ mai mici în cadrul acestui grup comparat cu martorii sănătoşi (p<0.001). După ajustarea pentru vârstă, gen, statusul educaţional nu s-au observat diferenţe semnificative între nivelurile serice ale Hcy între cele două grupuri. Nu au fost diferenţe semnificative nici între concentraţiile microelementelelor.

Concluzii. Rezultatele confirmă asocierea dintre stresul oxidativ şi apariţia disfuncţiei cognitive. Acesta ar putea fi implicat în etiologia AD. Identificarea unor astfel de biomarkeri este importantă pentru selecţia tratamentului adecvat.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; oxidative stress; mild cognitive impairment; homocysteine; trace element



– Alzheimer’s disease


– mild cognitive impairment


– oxidative stress

– amyloid-β


– malondialdehyde


– Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances


– Ferric Reduction Antioxidant Power


– Homocysteine


– Mini-Mental State Examination


– mild cognitive impairment stage I


– mild cognitive impairment stage II and III or moderate to severe cognitive impairment


– Amirkola Health and Aging Project


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About the article

Received: 2015-06-19

Published Online: 2015-12-10

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Romanian Journal Of Internal Medicine, Volume 53, Issue 4, Pages 336–342, ISSN (Online) 1220-4749, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rjim-2015-0043.

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© 2015 Hajar Negahdar et al., published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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