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Article

Associations between Trace Elements and Cognitive Decline: An Exploratory 5-Year Follow-Up Study of an Elderly Cohort

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Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioral Intervention (CINEICC), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPCEUC), Univ Coimbra, 3000-115 Coimbra, Portugal
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Psychological Assessment and Psychometrics Laboratory (PsyAssessmentLab), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPCEUC), Univ Coimbra, 3000-115 Coimbra, Portugal
3
Geobiotec Research Centre, Department of Geosciences, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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LAQV/REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
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Department of Environmental Health, School of Health, P.Porto, CISA/Research Center in Environment and Health, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
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Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Instituto de Ciências da Terra, Polo da Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
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Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176051
Received: 30 June 2020 / Revised: 12 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 20 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology)
Trace elements (TE) homeostasis is crucial in normal brain functioning. Although imbalances have the potential to exacerbate events leading neurodegenerative diseases, few studies have directly addressed the eventual relationships between TE levels in the human body and future cognitive status. The present study aimed to assess how different TE body-levels relate to cognitive decline. This exploratory research included a study-group (RES) of 20 elderly individuals living in two Portuguese geographical areas of interest (Estarreja; Mértola), as well as a 20 subjects neuropsychological control-group (CTR). Participants were neuropsychologically assessed through the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the RES group was biomonitored for TE through fingernail analysis. After 5 years, the cognitive assessments were repeated. Analyses of the RES neuropsychological data showed an average decrease of 6.5 and 5.27 points in MMSE and MoCA, respectively, but TE contents in fingernails were generally within the referenced values for non-exposed individuals. Higher levels of Nickel and Selenium significantly predicted lesser cognitive decline within 5 years. Such preliminary results evidence an association between higher contents of these TE and higher cognitive scores at follow-up, suggesting their contribution to the maintenance of cognitive abilities. Future expansion of the present study is needed in order to comprehensively assess the potential benefits of these TE. View Full-Text
Keywords: cognitive decline; longitudinal study; risk for dementia; trace elements; nickel; selenium; human tissues; industrial area; mining area cognitive decline; longitudinal study; risk for dementia; trace elements; nickel; selenium; human tissues; industrial area; mining area
MDPI and ACS Style

Gerardo, B.; Cabral Pinto, M.; Nogueira, J.; Pinto, P.; Almeida, A.; Pinto, E.; Marinho-Reis, P.; Diniz, L.; Moreira, P.I.; Simões, M.R.; Freitas, S. Associations between Trace Elements and Cognitive Decline: An Exploratory 5-Year Follow-Up Study of an Elderly Cohort. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176051

AMA Style

Gerardo B, Cabral Pinto M, Nogueira J, Pinto P, Almeida A, Pinto E, Marinho-Reis P, Diniz L, Moreira PI, Simões MR, Freitas S. Associations between Trace Elements and Cognitive Decline: An Exploratory 5-Year Follow-Up Study of an Elderly Cohort. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(17):6051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176051

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gerardo, Bianca, Marina Cabral Pinto, Joana Nogueira, Paula Pinto, Agostinho Almeida, Edgar Pinto, Paula Marinho-Reis, Luísa Diniz, Paula I. Moreira, Mário R. Simões, and Sandra Freitas. 2020. "Associations between Trace Elements and Cognitive Decline: An Exploratory 5-Year Follow-Up Study of an Elderly Cohort" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 17: 6051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176051

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