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Toxics 2016, 4(4), 27;

Hair Microelement Profile as a Prognostic Tool in Parkinson’s Disease

Chemistry Unit, School of Science and Technology, University of Camerino, Via S. Agostino 1, Camerino 62032, Italy
Pharmacology Unit, School of Pharmacy via Gentile III da Varano, Camerino 62032, MC, Italy
Computer Science Division, School of Science and Technology, University of Camerino, Via del Bastione 1, Camerino 62032, Italy
Neurology Unit, AOORMN, San Salvatore Hospital, Pesaro 61121, Italy
Well Dynamics Applications Srl, Reggio Emilia 42123, Italy
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, School of Pharmacy Via gentile III da Varano, Camerino 62032, MC, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David R. Wallace
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Xenobiotics in Developmental Neurotoxicity)
Full-Text   |   PDF [964 KB, uploaded 16 November 2016]   |  


Changes in the homeostasis of metals and microelements have been demonstrated in Parkinson’s disease, whose etiology includes both a genetic and environmental basis. We studied the difference of microelements in the hair of Parkinson’s disease subjects (n = 46) compared with healthy controls (n = 24). Hair was chosen as a representative matrix to measure microelements, since it is a vehicle of substance excretion from the human body and it allows for long-term evaluation of metal exposure. An inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis of hair collected from 24 Parkinson’s patients compared with their healthy relatives used as controls shows a significant decrease in Ca (U = 166, p = 0.012),), Mg (U = 187, p = 0.037), and Sr (U = 183, p = 0.030). Cd and Ca/Mg were decreased, and Cu was increased, in patients with respect to their healthy related controls at the limit of significance (p = 0.0501). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of these microelements in hair shows a clustering into two groups according to gender, disease severity according to the Hoehn–Yahr scale, and pharmacological therapy. This pilot study represents a starting point for future investigations where a larger group of subjects will be involved to define other microelements useful when screening for early biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: hair; microelements; biomarkers; Parkinson’s disease hair; microelements; biomarkers; Parkinson’s disease

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Stefano, F.; Cinzia, N.; Marco, P.; Marco, G.; Rita, G.; Augusto, F.; Rosita, G. Hair Microelement Profile as a Prognostic Tool in Parkinson’s Disease. Toxics 2016, 4, 27.

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