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Pattern of Altered Plasma Elemental Phosphorus, Calcium, Zinc, and Iron in Alzheimer's Disease

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Azhaar Ashraf, Hagen Stosnach, Harold G. Parkes, Abdul Hye, John Powell, Hilkka Soinine, Magda Tsolaki, Bruno Vellas, Simon Lovestone, Dag Aarsland, Iwona Kloszeweska, Patrizia Mecocci, Lars-Olaf Wahland, Po-Wah So

Original languageEnglish
Article number3147
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Early online date28 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019

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Abstract

Metal/mineral dyshomeostasis has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The aim of the study was to investigate the difference in absolute and percentage levels of plasma phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium in cognitively normal (CN) and AD subjects. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectroscopy was used to detect plasma metals/minerals in CN and AD subjects (n = 44 per group). TXRF detected significantly increased plasma levels of phosphorus (p = 1.33 × 10−12) and calcium (p = 0.025) in AD compared to CN subjects, with higher phosphorus/calcium (p = 2.55 × 10−14) ratio in the former. Percentage concentrations calculated for phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium by dividing the concentration of each element by the total concentration of these elements and multiplying by 100%, demonstrated phosphorus was higher in AD compared to CN subjects, while calcium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium were lower in AD subjects, with area under the curves as high as 0.937 (p = 6 × 10−5) computed from receiver operating curves. With exclusion of high levels of phosphorus and calcium from percentage calculations, iron levels remained low in AD whereas zinc was higher in AD, and copper and selenium levels were similar. We demonstrate altered distribution of elements in the plasma of AD subjects with high interdependencies between elemental levels and propose the potential of TXRF measurements for disease monitoring.

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