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Study: Ferritin Levels & Tourette

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  • Study: Ferritin Levels & Tourette

    Ferritin Levels and Their Association With Regional Brain Volumes in Tourette?s Syndrome

    Daniel A. Gorman, M.D., Hongtu Zhu, Ph.D., George M. Anderson, Ph.D., Mark Davies, M.P.H. and Bradley S. Peterson, M.D.

    OBJECTIVE: A previous small study showed lower serum ferritin levels in subjects with Tourette?s syndrome than in healthy subjects. The authors measured peripheral iron indices in a large group of Tourette?s syndrome and comparison subjects and explored associations of ferritin levels with regional brain volumes.

    METHOD: Ferritin was measured in 107 children and adults (63 Tourette?s syndrome, 44 comparison); serum iron was measured in 73 (41 Tourette?s syndrome, 32 comparison). Magnetic resonance imaging scans were used to measure volumes of the basal ganglia and cortical gray matter.

    RESULTS: Ferritin and serum iron were significantly lower in the Tourette?s syndrome subjects, although still within the normal range. No association was found between tic severity and either iron index. In the Tourette?s syndrome subjects, ferritin did not correlate significantly with caudate volume but did correlate positively with putamen volume. In the comparison subjects, ferritin correlated inversely with caudate volume but did not correlate significantly with putamen volume. Irrespective of diagnosis, ferritin correlated positively with volumes of the sensorimotor, midtemporal, and subgenual cortices.

    CONCLUSIONS: The lower peripheral ferritin and iron levels in persons with Tourette?s syndrome are consistent with findings in other movement disorders and suggest that lower iron availability may have a causal role in the pathophysiology of tic disorders. Lower iron stores may contribute to hypoplasia of the caudate and putamen, increasing vulnerability to developing tics or to having more severe tics. Lower iron stores may also contribute to smaller cortical volumes and consequently to reduced inhibitory control of tics.

    American Journal of Psychiatry 163:1264-1272, July 2006
    doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.7.1264

    Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body. The serum ferritin level -- the amount of ferritin in your blood -- is directly proportional to the amount of iron stored in your body. More info on ferritin here
    Steve
    TouretteLinks Forum

  • #2
    Study: Ferritin Levels & Tourette

    I was reading the article and this is my interpretation of the research.

    The article is stating that people with TS have iron levels that are considered normal, however the levels are on the low side of normal.

    Lower iron stores may contribute to hypoplasia of the caudate and putamen, increasing vulnerability to developing tics or to having more severe tics. Lower iron stores may also contribute to smaller cortical volumes and consequently to reduced inhibitory control of tics.

    Low iron amounts in a body with a genetic predispostion to TS means that person is at an increased risk of developing TS.

    Low iron amounts in a body with TS means that person could have more severe tics and/or reduced ability to control the tics.

    Therefore, increasing the amount of iron in a person with a family history of TS or someone already diagnosed with TS is very beneficial.

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    • #3
      Study: Ferritin Levels & Tourette

      Thanks for the interpretation, Stephanie. The study is very technical and your deciphering its message for us is really helpful!
      Steve
      TouretteLinks Forum

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