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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 199-204

Toxic trace metals in the mentally ill patients

Department of Mental Health, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
P C Stanley
Department of Mental Health, Jos University Teaching Hospital
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Serum Cadmium and lead were measured in 61 in- and out-patients of the Mental Health Unit of a University Teaching Hospital. Diagnosis using the ICD-10 Criteria divided the patients into 21 Depressives, 20 Manic-depressive and 20 Schizophrenics. Twenty "healthy" individuals matched for age and sex were used as controls. The measurements of cadmium and lead were done on admission and at 3 and 7 weeks after the relevant treatment had been given. Serum zinc was also measured because of the interaction between zinc and these toxic metals. Measurement was with the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results showed that cadmium was raised in depressives (p < 0.02) and reduced in mania patients (p < 0.01). Lead was increased in depressives (p < 0.01) and schizophrenics (p < 0.05) but not in mania patients. Serum zinc was reduced in all mental patients. Serum levels of the toxic metals of the mental patients tended to move towards the values of the control group with treatment.

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