Essential trace metals and heavy metals in newly diagnosed schizophrenic patients and those on anti-psychotic medication

Ganiyu Arinola, Blessing Idonije, kinladea Akinlade, Olubisi Ihenyen


  • BACKGROUND: Nutritional deprivation in the early stage of life increases the risk of developing schizophrenia. Oxidative stress, disturbed thinking and irrational behavior which are common to schizophrenic patients may be a result of changes in the levels of certain trace metals.
  • METHODS: Twenty (20) healthy volunteers and a total of thirty-five (35) schizophrenic patients consisting of 20 on antipsychotic drugs for at least 2 weeks and 15 newly diagnosed but not taking antipsychotic drugs were considered. The plasma levels of trace metals were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
  • RESULTS: Fe and Se were significantly reduced in newly diagnosed and medicated-schizophrenic patients compared with controls. Pb, Cd and Cr were significantly raised in newly diagnosed drug free schizophrenic patients compared with controls. While Cr and Cd were significantly raised in schizophrenic patients on treatment compared with the controls.
  • CONCLUSIONS: Levels of certain nutritionally essential trace metals (Fe and Se) were reduced while levels of certain heavy metals (Pb, Cr and Cd) were raised in schizophrenic patients.
  • KEYWORDS: Schizophrenia, Trace Metals, Supplementation, Nigeria.



Schizophrenia, Trace Metals, Supplementation, Nigeria.

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