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Title: Trace elements and psychiatric illness
Author: Corrigan, F. M.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1987
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Developments in analytical techniques have allowed study of the concentrations of more than thirty elements in biological tissues. These methods have been applied to blood and brain tissues from patients with a wide range of psychiatric illness. Increases in blood vanadium concentrations in affective illness are discussed in relation to possible disturbance of noradrenaline metabolism. It is suggested that high vanadium levels may reflect high circulatory levels of noradrenaline but direct evidence of such a link has not yet been obtained. Discussions of elements in dementia centres mainly on aluminium and zinc: the possibility of low zinc concentrations being relevant becomes more likely as evidence accumulates for the role of zinc in hippocampal function. Glutamatergic transmission is likely to be crucial in this context and evidence is presented for an association between glutamate and the rare earth elements cerium and lanthanum in caudate nucleus of schizophrenics. Whether these will prove to have a fucntional role in hippocampus remains to be seen, but possible implications for modulation of striatal dopaminergic function, via glutamatergic corticostriatal tracts, are discussed. Reduction of caesium may be important through altered GABAergic transmission and reduction of indium may reflect changes in dopaminergic neuronal activity. It is considered that this work on human tissue is giving indications of which elements need to be studied in laboratory experiments to elucidate their role in neuronal transmission and, therefore, in psychiatric illness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available