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Micronutrient levels and antioxidant status in pediatric cerebral palsy patients

Richard H. Asmah, Agnes Anyele, Henry Asare-Anane, Addoquaye C. Brown, Timothy N. Archampong, Gloria Amegatcher, Ebenezer Badoe, David N. Adjei, Bartholomew Dzudzor, Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi.


Background: Micronutrients such as coper, zinc and selenium are essential to the functioning of the nervous system and their deficiencies is a critical concern for cerebral palsy children. The aim of this study was to investigate micronutrient levels and antioxidant status in pediatric cerebral palsy patients and compare them to neurologically normal children in Accra, Ghana.
Method: Twenty seven patients with cerebral palsy (0-14 years) and 17 age-bracket matched neurological normal controls were recruited. Three milliliters of venous blood was drawn from each participant into an EDTA tube and transferred on ice to the laboratory. Activity of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) as well as micronutrient status for copper, zinc and selenium were analyzed.
Results: About 86.2% of cases (n = 25/29) compared to 11.7% of controls (n= 2/17) had copper concentrations below the normal physiologic range; mean copper concentration was significantly lower in cases than in control. Serum zinc levels were normal in only 20.1% (n = 6/29) of cases, but in 59% (n = 10/17) of controls; however, mean concentration of zinc was not statistically different among. Selenium concentration below normal physiologic range was recorded to be about 94% in both cases (n = 27/29) and controls (n = 16/17); but the mean selenium concentration was significantly higher in cases compared to control. Also, the mean SOD activity was significantly lower in cases than in controls. Moreover, negative correlation was observed between the age of children with cerebral palsy and SOD levels.
Conclusion: Copper, zinc and selenium deficiencies contributed disproportionately to oxidative stress and this may be a common feature in Ghanaian children with cerebral palsy. There is the need for micronutrient supplementation.

Key words: Cerebral palsy, micronutrients, superoxide dismutase, trace elements

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