Alterations of Serum Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Calcium, and Magnesium Concentrations and the Complexity of Interelement Relations in Patients with Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the status of serum trace elements: zinc, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and magnesium concentrations in obsessive–compulsive disorder patients. Forty-eight obsessive–compulsive disorder patients and 48 healthy volunteers were included in this study. Patients were recruited from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University by random sampling. Serum trace element concentrations were determined using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (for zinc, copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium) as well as graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (for manganese). Data were analyzed using independent t test, Pearson's correlation analysis, regression analysis, and ANOVA. Statistical analysis of these data showed a definite pattern of variation among certain elements in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder compared to controls. In patients' serum, zinc, iron, and magnesium concentrations decreased significantly (p < 0.05) compared to the controls. Serum manganese and calcium concentrations were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in patients compared to the controls. These data showed a definite imbalance in the interelement relations in obsessive–compulsive disorder patients compared to controls and therefore suggest a disturbance in the element homeostasis.

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The authors thank all the participants of this study. The authors also thank the staffs of the Department of Psychiatry, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka, Bangladesh, for their technical and administrative support.

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Correspondence to Abul Hasnat.

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Shohag, H., Ullah, A., Qusar, S. et al. Alterations of Serum Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Calcium, and Magnesium Concentrations and the Complexity of Interelement Relations in Patients with Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder. Biol Trace Elem Res 148, 275–280 (2012).

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  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder
  • Trace elements
  • Element homeostasis
  • Interelement relation