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Trace Element Status in Children with Infantile Tremor Syndrome: An Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Based Study

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The primary objective of the study was to compare the trace element status in children with infantile tremor syndrome (ITS) with healthy controls. Blood counts, serum vitamin B12, plasma homocysteine, plasma ferritin and trace elements - magnesium, zinc and selenium were compared. Twenty-six children (11 with tremors, 14 boys, mean age 11.5 ± 3.5 mo) and 19 controls were enrolled for this study. Low vitamin B12 levels (67% vs. 5%) and elevated plasma homocysteine 96% vs. 26%) was significantly more (P < 0.001) in cases. Eight controls had hypoferritinemia, while none with ITS had it (p < 0.001). None of the children in either group had low serum levels of zinc or magnesium. Low levels of selenium were seen in six cases and five controls. This study did not show any association between the studied nutrients/ trace elements and ITS while, it showed a strong association of ITS with vitamin B12 deficiency supporting that it is a Neurocutaneous Infantile B-12 deficiency (NIB) syndrome.

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Author information

NS, SV, PB, PCV planned the study. Data was collected by DTF under supervision of NS and PCV. SV and PB provided lab support. All authors contributed to analysis of data and preparation of the manuscript. NS was the overall supervisor and clinician incharge and is guarantor for this paper.

Correspondence to Naveen Sankhyan.

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The authors acknowledge the support of the institute thesis grant (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) for this work.

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Francis, D.T., Verma, S., Bhatia, P. et al. Trace Element Status in Children with Infantile Tremor Syndrome: An Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Based Study. Indian J Pediatr 87, 221–223 (2020).

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  • Micronutrients
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Cobalamin
  • Movement disorder
  • Malnutrition
  • Tropical disease