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Biol Psychiatry. 1992 Mar 15;31(6):571-81.

Effects of long-term anticonvulsant therapy on copper, zinc, and magnesium in hair and serum of epileptics.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


The effects of long-term anticonvulsant therapy on copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and magnesium (Mg) in the serum and hair were investigated in epileptics. Hair concentrations of Cu in both male and female epileptics, Zn in male epileptics, and Mg in female epileptics were significantly decreased when compared with those of age-matched and gender-matched controls. Hair Cu concentrations were significantly decreased in male epileptics; a significant decrease in hair Mg concentration was observed in female epileptics when compared with schizophrenics. An increased serum Cu concentration was found in female epileptics and a decreased Zn concentration was found in male epileptics. These findings suggest that long-term anticonvulsant therapy could induce alterations in both the metabolism and distribution of Cu, Zn, and Mg.

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