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Open AccessArticle

Greater Circulating Copper Concentrations and Copper/Zinc Ratios are Associated with Lower Psychological Distress, But Not Cognitive Performance, in a Sample of Australian Older Adults

1
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
2
Nutrition Society of Australia, PO Box 576, Crows Nest, NSW 1585, Australia
3
Melbourne Dementia Research Centre, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
4
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Notting Hill, VIC 3128, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2503; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102503
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 10 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
Dyshomeostasis of copper and zinc is linked to neurodegeneration. This study investigated the relationship between circulating copper and zinc and copper/zinc ratios and cognitive function, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and neurotrophic factors in older Australian adults. In this cross-sectional study (n = 139), plasma copper, serum zinc, and neurotrophic factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor-1) were assessed. Cognition was assessed using the Cogstate battery and the Behavior Rating Inventory (BRI) of Executive Function (Adult version). Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Copper (β = −0.024; 95% CI = −0.044, −0.004; p = 0.019) and copper/zinc ratio (β = −1.99; 95% CI = −3.41, −0.57; p = 0.006) were associated with lower depressive symptoms, but not cognition. Plasma copper had a modest positive association with BDNF (β = −0.004; 95% CI = 0.000, 0.007; p = 0.021). Zinc was not associated with any of the outcomes. In conclusion, greater circulating copper concentrations and higher copper/zinc ratios were associated with lower depressive symptoms (but not cognition), with copper also positively associated with BDNF concentration, in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: zinc; copper; copper/zinc; cognition; dementia; depression; anxiety; neurotrophic factors zinc; copper; copper/zinc; cognition; dementia; depression; anxiety; neurotrophic factors
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Mravunac, M.; Szymlek-Gay, E.A.; Daly, R.M.; Roberts, B.R.; Formica, M.; Gianoudis, J.; O’Connell, S.L.; Nowson, C.A.; Cardoso, B.R. Greater Circulating Copper Concentrations and Copper/Zinc Ratios are Associated with Lower Psychological Distress, But Not Cognitive Performance, in a Sample of Australian Older Adults. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2503.

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