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Assessment of the effects of glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies and trace elements on cognitive performance in older adults

Authors Alghadir A, Gabr S, S. Al-Eisa E

Received 8 September 2015

Accepted for publication 23 October 2015

Published 3 December 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 1901—1907


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Carl Fortin

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Ahmad H Alghadir,1 Sami A Gabr,1,2 Einas Al-Eisa1

1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Background: Homeostatic imbalance of trace elements such as iron (Fe), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) demonstrated adverse effects on brain function among older adults.
Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the effects of trace elements and the presence of anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADAs) in human cognitive abilities among healthy older adults.
Methods: A total of 100 healthy subjects (65 males, 35 females; age range; 64–96 years) were recruited for this study. Based on Loewenstein Occupational Therapy Cognitive Assessment (LOTCA) score, the participants were classified according to cognitive performance into normal (n=45), moderate (n=30), and severe (n=25). Cognitive functioning, leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), serum trace elements – Fe, Cu, Zn, Zn/Cu, and GADAs were assessed using LOTCA battery, pre-validated physical activity (PA) questionnaire, atomic absorption, and immunoassay techniques, respectively.
Results: Approximately 45% of the study population (n=45) had normal distribution of cognitive function and 55% of the study population (n=55) had abnormal cognitive function; they were classified into moderate (score 62–92) and severe (score 31–62). There was a significant reduction in the level of Zn and Zn/Cu ratio along with an increase in the level of Fe, Cu, and anti-GADAs in subjects of severe (P=0.01) and moderate (P=0.01) cognitive performance. LOTCA-cognitive scores correlated positively with sex, HbA1c, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Zn/Cu ratio, and negatively with age, PA, body mass index, and anti-GADAs. Significant inter-correlation was reported between serum trace element concentrations and anti-GADAs which suggest producing a cognitive decline via oxidative and neural damage mechanism.
Conclusion: This study found significant associations among trace elements, anti-GADAs, and cognitive function in older adults. The homeostatic balance of trace elements should be recommended among older adults for better cognitive performance.

Keywords: LOTCA, trace elements, anti-GADAs, cognitive performance, older adults

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