Comparative Study on Serum Levels of 10 Trace Elements in Schizophrenia
The purpose of the study was to determine the serum concentration of trace elements of panic disorder patients and to find out the relationship between trace element levels and nutritional status or socio-economic factors. The study was conducted among 54 panic disorder patients and 52 healthy volunteers. Patients were recruited from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University by random sampling. Serum trace element concentrations were determined by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (for Mg, Zn, Ca, and Cu) as well as graphite furnace (for Mn). Data were analyzed by independent t test, Pearson’s correlation analysis, regression analysis, and ANOVA. The serum concentration of Mn, Zn, Ca, Cu, and Mg in panic disorder patients were 0.37 ± 0.30, 0.67 ± 0.20, 99.91 ± 15.15, 0.83 ± 0.23, and 21.14 ± 3.72 mg/L, while those were 0.4163 ± 0.2527, 0.86 ± 0.3, 106.6073 ± 18.6531, 0.8514 ± 0.3646, and 21.37 ± 2.03 mg/L in control subjects, respectively. The serum concentration of Zn decreased significantly (p = 0.001) in patient group. But the differences of the concentration of Mn, Ca, Cu, and Mg between patient and control group were not significant (p = 0.522, p = 0.065, p = 0.800, and p = 0.712, respectively). Socio-economic data reveal that most of the patients were very poor and middle aged. Mean BMIs of the control group (23.74 ± 2.71 kg/m2) and the patient group (22.62 ± 3.74 kg/m2) were within the normal range (18.5–25.0 kg/m2). There was no significant relationship between serum zinc level and BMI of patients (r = 0.038; p = 0.809). So the decreased level of serum zinc in panic disorder patients was not because of other reasons, but rather it may provide a prognostic tool for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.