Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 125, Issue 7, pp 1027–1032 | Cite as

Correlations between abnormal iron metabolism and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease

Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Original Article


Despite a growing body of evidence suggests that abnormal iron metabolism plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), few studies explored its role in non-motor symptoms (NMS) of PD. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between abnormal iron metabolism and NMS of PD. Seventy PD patients and 64 healthy controls were consecutively recruited to compare serum iron, ceruloplasmin, ferritin, and transferrin levels. We evaluated five classic NMS, including depression, anxiety, pain, sleep disorder, and autonomic dysfunction in PD patients using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD), the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA), the short form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Scale for Outcomes in Parkinson’s disease for Autonomic Symptoms, respectively. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the correlations between abnormal iron metabolism and NMS. No differences in serum ceruloplasmin and ferritin levels were examined between PD patients and healthy controls, but we observed significantly decreased serum iron levels and increased serum transferrin levels in PD patients in comparison with healthy controls. After eliminating confounding factors, HAMD scores and HAMA scores were both negatively correlated with serum iron levels and positively correlated with serum transferrin levels. In summary, abnormal iron metabolism might play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of depression and anxiety in PD. Serums levels of iron and transferrin could be peripheral markers for depression and anxiety in PD.


Parkinson’s disease Abnormal iron metabolism Non-motor symptoms Serum Depression Anxiety 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(No. 81671258), the Science and Technology Project of Jiangsu Provincial Commission of Health and Family Planning(No. H201602), the Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), and the Science and Technology Project of Jiangsu Bureau of Traditional Chinese Medicine(No.YB2015163).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wu Xu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yan Zhi
    • 2
  • Yongsheng Yuan
    • 2
  • Bingfeng Zhang
    • 4
  • Yuting Shen
    • 2
  • Hui Zhang
    • 2
  • Kezhong Zhang
    • 2
  • Yun Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyNanjing Drum Tower Hospital Clinical College of Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, The Affiliated Taixing Hospital, School of MedicineYangzhou UniversityTaixingChina
  4. 4.Department of Clinical LaboratoryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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